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Lepus habessinicus

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
ANIMALIA CHORDATA MAMMALIA LAGOMORPHA LEPORIDAE

Scientific Name: Lepus habessinicus
Species Authority: Hemprich & Ehrenberg, 1832
Common Name(s):
English Abyssinian Hare
Taxonomic Notes: There is some taxonomic confusion regarding species status for Lepus habessinicus. Some postulate that it deserves true species status based on sympatric distribution with Lepus capensis (Hoffmann and Smith 2005). Others claim it should be classified as subspecific to L. capensis (Angermann 1983, Azzaroli-Puccetti 1987, Boitani et al. 1999). It is suggested that biochemical analyses are required to determine the form's true taxonomic status (Azzaroli-Puccetti 1987).

There are no recognized subspecies for L. habessinicus (Hoffmann and Smith 2005).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2008
Date Assessed: 2008-06-30
Assessor(s): Smith, A.T. & Johnston, C.H.
Reviewer(s): Boyer, A.F. & Johnston, C.H. (Lagomorph Red List Authority)
Justification:
Lepus habessinicus is described as a widespread and abundant species (Flux and Angermann 1990). Its distribution may be increasing due to the effects of habitat change produced by overgrazing (Flux and Angermann 1990).

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: The geographic distribution of Lepus habessinicus includes Somalia (excluding the southern region, eastern Ethiopia, Djibouti, Eritrea, and minor distribution in Sudan and possible distribution in the extreme north of Kenya (Yalden et al. 1986). It is suspected that this species' distribution is expanding into areas where overgrazing occurs (Flux and Angermann 1990). This species can be found at elevations that range from sea level up to 2,000 m (potentially as high as 2,500 m) (Yalden et al. 1996).
Countries:
Native:
Djibouti; Eritrea; Ethiopia; Somalia; Sudan
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: Lepus habessinicus is considered an abundant species (Flux and Angermann 1990).
Population Trend: Unknown

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: Lepus habessinicus occupies a variety of habitats from open grassland, steppe, and savanna, to desert regions, where some shrub is required for cover (Flux and Angermann 1990). In these habitats, L. habessinicus replaces L. capensis (Flux and Angermann 1990). Other Lepus species occupy areas where shrub cover is denser (Flux and Angermann 1990). It is suspected that L. habessinicus is nocturnal, like the Cape hare (Flux and Angermann 1990). HB length of this species is 40.0-55.0 cm (Happold pers. comm.).
Systems: Terrestrial

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): The threats to this species are not known.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: This species is present in Awash National Park, Mago National Park, and possibly Yangudi-Rassa National Park (Yalden et al. 1996). It has been suggested that the range of Lepus habessinicus may be expanding into areas where overgrazing occurs (Flux and Angermann 1990). Research to determine its true geographic distribution should be conducted.

Citation: Smith, A.T. & Johnston, C.H. 2008. Lepus habessinicus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 30 October 2014.
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