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Lepus hainanus

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
ANIMALIA CHORDATA MAMMALIA LAGOMORPHA LEPORIDAE

Scientific Name: Lepus hainanus
Species Authority: Swinhoe, 1870
Common Name(s):
English Hainan Hare, Chinese Pinyin
Taxonomic Notes: Lepus hainanus is currently recognized as a distinct species, but was previously classified as a subspecies of L. peguensis by past treatments (Hoffmann and Smith 2005). There are no recognized subspecies for L. hainanus (Hoffmann and Smith 2005).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Vulnerable A2ac+3cd; B1ab(iii) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2008
Date Assessed: 2008-06-30
Assessor(s): Lazell, J., Lu, W., Xia, W., Li, S.Y. & Smith, A.T.
Reviewer(s): Johnston, C.H. & Boyer, A.F. (Lagomorph Red List Authority)
Justification:
Local extirpation of Lepus hainanus was noted in 1983 as a result of overharvesting (Lazell et al. 1995). Original natural habitat has been consumed by human habitations and agriculture. This species survives only on artificially deforested lands currently used as deer ranches. Despite listing as a China Key List - II species in China, L. hainanus continues to be poached for meat and skin. L. hainanus may face competition from feral European rabbits.
History:
1996 Vulnerable
1994 Insufficiently Known (Groombridge 1994)

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: Lepus hainanus is endemic to the island of Hainan, China (Flux and Angermann 1990). Formerly, L. hainanus occupied most of the lowlands of Hainan Dao, except possibly in the northeast. In 1995 it was located only at Bang Xi and Da Tien deer ranches in the central west coastal zone. Historic locations of L. hainanus specimens were found from sea-level and approximately 300 m (Lazell et al. 1995).
Countries:
Native:
China (Hainan)
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: Formerly characterized as abundant, Lepus hainanus is now experiencing population declines (Lazell et al. 1995). In 1995 it was estimated at 157 ±68 km² at Da Tien and 62 (no replicates) per km² at Bang Xi. There are probably no more than two km² of optimal habitat remaining, so that total population may be no more than 250-500.
Population Trend: Decreasing

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: Lepus hainanus inhabits grasslands of the western regions on Hainan (Flux and Angermann 1990). The eastern region of the island is not considered suitable for this species (Flux and Angermann 1990). In 1995, L. hainanus was found only at deer ranches close to ranger stations, which provide some protection from poaching. They are also found on flat, dry farm land that is scattered with second growth scrub or plantains (Flux and Angermann 1990). This species is characterized as tame, probably the result of few native carnivores present within its range (Lazell et al. 1995). L. hainanus is predominantly a nocturnal species, but is known to forage during the day (Flux and Angermann 1990). It is exclusively a ground-dweller (Luo 1988). L. hainanus reaches a maximum length of 40.0 cm (Lazell et al. 1995).
Systems: Terrestrial

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: 90% of the total population is utilized. As of 1995, Lepus hainanus was still regularly poached and sold in village markets.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Over harvesting and the expansion of agriculture present a major threat to Lepus hainanus (Flux and Angermann 1990). Greater than 90% of its original habitat has been destroyed. Artificially cleared deer ranches provide nearly all the extant habitat. As of 1995, poaching for meat and skins continued.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: A China Key List - II protected species in China as of 1991, but as of 1995 there was no apparent law enforcement. No habitat has been conserved for this species. Recovery management is needed to reverse population declines (Luo 1988). This species was regionally Red Listed as Vulnerable A2cd+3cd; B1ab(iii) (Wang and Xie 2004).

Bibliography [top]

Flux, J. E. C. and Angermann, R. 1990. Chapter 4: The Hares and Jackrabbits. In: J. A. Chapman and J. E. C. Flux (eds), Rabbits, Hares and Pikas: Status Survey and Conservation Action Plan, pp. 61-94. The World Conservation Union, Gland, Switzerland.

Hoffmann, R. S. and Smith, A. T. 2005. Order Lagomorpha. In: D. E. Wilson and D. M. Reeder (eds), Mammal Species of the World, pp. 185-211. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, Maryland, USA.

Lazell, J., Lu, W., Xia, W., Li, S. H. and Smith, A. T. 1995. Status of the Hainan Hare. Species 25: 61-62.

Luo, Z. 1988. The Chinese Hare. China Forestry Publishing House, Beijing, China.

Wang, S. and Xie, Y. 2004. China Species Red List. Vol. 1 Red List. Higher Education Press, Beijing, China.


Citation: Lazell, J., Lu, W., Xia, W., Li, S.Y. & Smith, A.T. 2008. Lepus hainanus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.3. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 26 November 2014.
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