Menu
Contact Us Search

Snowshoe Hare Identification

Snowshoe Hare (Lepus americanus)

photo Snowshoe Hare - Medium but relatively large arrow pointing at large hind feet and its fur is dark brown
© Robert Potts - CA Academy of Sciences, all rights reserved

photo Snowshoe Hare - Medium but relatively large hind feet and its fur is dark brown arrows pointing at feet - white fur in winter
Photo by D. Gordon E. Robertson (link opens in new tab or windowCC)

  • Size: MEDIUM…but relatively LARGE hind feet!
  • Fur: dark brown, or white in winter!
  • Ears: SHORT
  • Tail: SMALL, white to GRAYISH-BROWN
  • Habitat: mountainous forests and thickets, especially near
    riparian habitat and meadows
  • Distribution in CA: UNCOMMON in the upper elevations of the Klamath
    and Cascade Mtns. south through the Sierra Nevada to Mariposa,
    Mono, and Madera counties
 

Brush Rabbit (Sylvilagus bachmani)

photo of Brush Rabbit - smallest common rabbit with small feet, fur brown arrow pointing at feet,
© photo by Kim Cabrera, all rights reserved

  • Size: SMALLEST common rabbit…with SMALL feet!
  • Fur: brown
  • Ears: SHORT
  • Tail: SMALL, underside is GRAY
  • Habitat: Chaparral or thick brush
  • Distribution in CA: ABUNDANT throughout west of the Sierra Nevada Mtns.
 

Mountain Cottontail Rabbit/Nuttall’s Cottontail (Sylvilagus nuttallii)

photo of Mountain Cottontail Rabbit brownish-grayish, white underside with arrow pointing at tail
photo by Justin Wilde - Hanford, Washington

  • Size: SMALL
  • Fur: brownish-grayish; white underside
  • Ears: SHORT
  • Tail: WHITE and COTTON-LIKE
  • Habitat: thickets, loose rocks and cliffs, and brushy areas with sagebrush
  • Distribution in CA: COMMON on the eastern
    slopes of the Sierra Nevada and Cascade Mtns. south through Inyo county
 

Black-tailed Jackrabbit (Lepus californicus)

photo of Black-tailed Jackrabbit, with arrow pointing at tail and ear
Photo by Jim Harper (link opens in new tab or windowCC)

  • Size: LARGE
  • Fur: grayish-brown; black streak on top of tail
  • Ears: LONG, BLACK-tipped
  • Tail: BLACK on top
  • Habitat: open prairies, and sparsely-vegetated shrublands and semi-arid deserts;
    sometimes forests
  • Distribution in CA: COMMON throughout, except at the highest elevations
 

White-tailed Jackrabbit (Lepus townsendii)

photo Snowshoe Hare - Medium but relatively large arrow pointing at large hind feet and its fur is dark brown
Photo by Connormah (link opens in new tab or windowCC)

photo Snowshoe Hare - Medium but relatively large hind feet and its fur is dark brown arrows pointing at feet - white fur in winter
(link opens in new tab or windowCC)

  • Size: LARGE
  • Size: LARGEST hare
  • Fur: brownish-gray in summer, or whitish-pale gray in winter!
  • Ears: VERY LONG, BLACK-tipped
  • Tail: WHITE on top and below
  • Habitat: open, grassy, or sagebrush-dominated plains; also subalpine conifer
    or alpine dwarf-shrub
  • Distribution in CA: UNCOMMON to RARE on the crest and upper eastern
    slopes of the Sierra Nevada, south to Tulare and Inyo counties
 


Northern Region (Region 1)
Regional Manager: Neil Manji
Main Office: 601 Locust St., Redding, CA 96001 | (530) 225-2300 | FAX: (530) 225-2055
Field Office: 619 Second St., Eureka, CA 95501 | (707) 445-6493 | FAX: (707) 445-6664
Email the Northern Region


Photo of Rabbit by Robert Potts - fur is Brown
© Robert Potts - CA Academy of Sciences, all rights reserved

Photo of Rabbit by D. Gordon E. Robertson - fur is White
Snowshoe Hare (Lepus americanus), Photo by D. Gordon E. Robertson (link opens in new tab or windowCC)