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Lepus saxatilis

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
ANIMALIA CHORDATA MAMMALIA LAGOMORPHA LEPORIDAE

Scientific Name: Lepus saxatilis
Species Authority: F. Cuvier, 1823
Common Name(s):
English Scrub Hare, Savannah Hare
French Lievre De Rochers
Taxonomic Notes: There are currently two recognized subspecies, Lepus saxatilis saxatilis and L. s. subrufus (Hoffmann and Smith 2005). A recent study identified three phylogeographic distributions of Lepus saxatilis, distinguished as southwest, central, and north (Kryger et al. 2004b). The southwestern spatial distribution was identified as being unique and lacking gene flow with the other two lineages for more than 45,000 years (Kryger et al. 2004b). For this reason it is suggested, based on the phylogenetic species concept, that this distribution may warrant species status (Kryger et al. 2004b). Further molecular research is required to elucidate the status of the southwest spatial distribution (Kryger et al. 2004b).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2008
Date Assessed: 2008-06-30
Assessor(s): Collins, K., Kryger, U., Matthee, C., Keith, M. & van Jaarsveld, A.
Reviewer(s): Smith, A.T. & Johnston, C.H. (Lagomorph Red List Authority)
Justification:
Lepus saxatilis is a widespread species. Population trend for this species has been declining and is expected to continue to decline by at least 20% for the next 100 years (Kryger et al. 2004a).
History:
1996 Lower Risk/least concern (Baillie and Groombridge 1996)

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: The geographic range of L. saxatilis includes the southern regions of Namibia (Boitani et al. 1999), South Africa (Kryger et al. 2004a), Swaziland (Swaziland National Trust Commission 2008) and Lesotho.
Countries:
Native:
Lesotho; Namibia; South Africa; Swaziland; Zimbabwe
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: L. saxatilis is fairly common throughout its distribution. Population trend for this species has been declining and is expected to continue to decline by at least 20% until the year 2104 (Kryger et al. 2004a).

Population size: >10,000
Population Trend: Decreasing

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: L. saxatilis starts foraging at dusk and continues throughout the night (Flux and Angermann 1990). It, "prefers scrub or savanna woodland habitat with grass cover but easily takes to agriculturally developed areas" (Kryger et al. 2004b). Home range is variable depending on habitat type and season (Kryger et al. 2004b). Reproduction is suspected to be year round with a peak breeding season occurring from September to February (Happold pers. comm.) HB length of this species ranges from 45.0-76.8 cm (Happold pers. comm.)
Systems: Terrestrial

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: This species is hunted for food.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Habitat fragmentation resulting from agriculture, commercial plantations, and development are threats to this species (Kryger et al. 2004a). Hunting pressure has reduced population sizes, especially in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa (Kryger et al. 2004a).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: L. saxatilis occurs widely throughout its distribution range, which includes many protected areas. Research in the following areas has been recommended: survey studies, taxonomic, genetic research, and life history (Kryger et al. 2004a). Other has been checked on the Conservation Measures list and is identified as "limiting factor research" (Kryger et al. 2004a). Sustainable utilization has also been identified as a needed management measure (Kryger et al. 2004a).

Citation: Collins, K., Kryger, U., Matthee, C., Keith, M. & van Jaarsveld, A. 2008. Lepus saxatilis. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.3. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 20 December 2014.
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