The Irish Hare

Latin: Lepus timidus hibernicus

Irish: Giorria Éireannach

There are two kinds of hare found in Ireland; the Irish or mountain hare, and the brown hare. The Irish hare is somewhat smaller than the brown hare. Its summer coat is reddish brown and it turns paler in winter. The ears have black tips. Our Irish hare does not turn completely white in winter as they do in Scotland and other parts of Europe.

The Irish hare lives above ground in a form, which is a shallow surface shelter made in grass. Hares do not dig burrows and will shelter in clumps of grass, field edges and beside hedges and ditches.

The hare feeds mainly at night on grasses, heather and other vegetation. A hare eats approximately 500g of food a day.

Active breeding occurs in the spring and produce up to three litters in a season, producing 2 to 4 young in a litter. Young hares, known as leverets, are well developed at birth, fully furred and their eyes are open.

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