Lepus sinensis 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Mammalia Lagomorpha Leporidae

Scientific Name: Lepus sinensis Gray, 1832
Common Name(s):
English Chinese Hare
Taxonomic Notes: Further research is needed to determine the taxonomic status of the populations of Lepus sinensis within Viet Nam. There are currently three recognized subspecies: L. s. formosus, L. s. sinensis, and L. s. yuenshanensis (Hoffmann and Smith 2005). L. coreanus was formerly included in this species (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)
This is a widespread species that occurs in protected areas, but more information is needed to determine population and distribution status (Flux and Angermann 1990).
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:This species occurs in southeastern China from the Yangtse River southward. It is also found on Taiwan, with minor range in northeast Viet Nam (Hoffmann and Smith 2005). There are a few records of hares west of the range of this species and it is not known if they belong to Lepus sinensis or L. peguensis (Duckworth pers. comm.). L. sinensis can be found occupying bamboo at elevations up to 4,000-5,000 m (Smith and Xie 2008).
Countries occurrence:
China (Anhui, Fujian, Guangdong, Guangxi, Guizhou, Hunan, Jiangsu, Jiangxi, Zhejiang); Taiwan, Province of China; Viet Nam
Additional data:
Upper elevation limit (metres):5000
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:Populations of Lepus sinensis in Viet Nam are thought to be very small, with the last confirmed records from the 1990s. The species was surveyed recently in Viet Nam (by Phan Trong Anh) without detection (Do Touc pers. comm.). There are no data regarding population for the remaining distribution for this species.
Current Population Trend:Unknown
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:Records of Lepus sinensis suggest a relatively low altitudinal distribution. This species inhabits hilly expanses with open edge grassland and scrubby vegetation (Smith and Xie 2008). The total length of L. sinensis is 35.0-45.0 cm (Smith and Xie 2008). Diet consists of leafy plants, green shoots and twigs (Smith and Xie 2008). L. sinensis is nocturnal, but is occasionally active during daylight hours (Smith and Xie 2008). The breeding season extends from April to August with an average litter size of three (Smith and Xie 2008).

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: There is local subsistence hunting and it is sold in markets (Flux and Angermann 1990).

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): In Viet Nam, the original range of Lepus sinensis was very small, in a heavily populated region. Habitat for this species is in decline and it is inferred from heavy hunting pressure on other species, that hunting is likely a major threat for this species in Viet Nam (Do Touk pers. comm.).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: This species occurs in the following nature reserves; Niumulin, Wuyishan, Nanling, Heishidingkuoyelin, Damingshan (Guangxi), Dayaoshanshuiyuanlin (Guangxi), Shiwandashan, Leigongshan, Maolan, Jiugongshan, Taoyuandong, Dongdongtinghu (Hunan), Bamianshan, Mangshan, Poyanghuhouniao, Yanquan, Taohongling, Jinggangshan, Nanjiliedao, Qingliangfeng, Tianmushan, Gutianshan, Wuyanling, and Dawuling (CSIS 2008). Research should be conducted to determine the distribution and status of Lepus sinensis to investigate possible isolation due to increasing agricultural practices (Flux and Angermann 1990). This species was regionally Red Listed as Least Concern in China (Wang and Xie 2004).

Classifications [top]

3. Shrubland -> 3.5. Shrubland - Subtropical/Tropical Dry
4. Grassland -> 4.4. Grassland - Temperate
4. Grassland -> 4.5. Grassland - Subtropical/Tropical Dry

In-Place Research, Monitoring and Planning
In-Place Land/Water Protection and Management
  Conservation sites identified:Yes, over entire range
In-Place Species Management
In-Place Education
2. Agriculture & aquaculture -> 2.1. Annual & perennial non-timber crops -> 2.1.1. Shifting agriculture
♦ timing:Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.1. Ecosystem conversion
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

2. Agriculture & aquaculture -> 2.1. Annual & perennial non-timber crops -> 2.1.2. Small-holder farming
♦ timing:Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.1. Ecosystem conversion
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

5. Biological resource use -> 5.1. Hunting & trapping terrestrial animals -> 5.1.1. Intentional use (species is the target)
♦ timing:Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 2. Species Stresses -> 2.1. Species mortality

5. Biological resource use -> 5.1. Hunting & trapping terrestrial animals -> 5.1.3. Persecution/control
♦ timing:Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 2. Species Stresses -> 2.1. Species mortality

1. Research -> 1.2. Population size, distribution & trends

♦  Food - human
 Local : ✓ 

Bibliography [top]

China Species Information Service. 2008. Lepus sinensis. Available at:; (Accessed: May 28).

Flux, J.E.C. and Angermann, R. 1990. Chapter 4: The Hares and Jackrabbits. In: J.A. Chapman & 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.

Smith, A.T. and Xie, Y. 2008. A Guide to the Mammals of China. Princeton University Press, Princeton, New Jersey.

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

Citation: Smith, A.T. & Johnston, C.H. 2008. Lepus sinensis. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2008: e.T41286A10433753. . Downloaded on 23 September 2018.
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