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Food habits of snowshoe hares (Lepus americanus) near Fairbanks, Alaska, were determined by microscopic analysis of stomach contents. The winter diet consisted primarily of spruce needles and the bark and twigs of birch, willow, spruce, and alder. Blueberry, lowbush cranberry, fireweed and horse-tail made up 47 percent of the spring diet; and leaves of birch, willow, rose, and other deciduous shrubs made up 76 percent of the summer diet. Similarity and trophic diversity indices indicated a greater diet diversity during the summer than during the winter, which appears to be related to the greater variety of plant species available. Diets of Alaskan snowshoe hares are compared with those of hares from other geographical regions.
The Journal of Wildlife Management © 1978 Wiley