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Behavior and Maternal Relations of Young Snowshoe Hares

Orrin J. Rongstad and John R. Tester
The Journal of Wildlife Management
Vol. 35, No. 2 (Apr., 1971), pp. 338-346
Published by: Wiley on behalf of the Wildlife Society
DOI: 10.2307/3799610
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3799610
Page Count: 9
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Behavior and Maternal Relations of Young Snowshoe Hares
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Abstract

The behavior of four young snowshoe hares (Lepus americanus) and the activities of a female during the time she was caring for these young were determined by using radiotelemetry. The female was with her young only once each day for only 5 to 10 minutes. The time of returning was remarkably constant, and appeared to be related to a certain light intensity during the evening twilight period. The movements of a second female during a period when she was known to have had two litters was also determined. It appeared that this family also assembled only once a day but later in the twilight period. The young spent the day in separate hiding places and got together only about 5 to 10 minutes before the female returned to nurse them; they then dispersed and remained alone until the following evening. Weekly home ranges of the young varied from 1.6 acres to 4.9 acres during the second to sixth week of life; they then increased rapidly to about the size of their mother's home range (approximately 20 acres).

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