Sierra Nevada snowshoe hare

sierrahunter1

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I figured I'd post some pics from the northern Sierra from this past winter. I believe this to be a snowshoe hare, but could be wrong. If so, it's pretty neat, because not much is known about these critters in the Sierra. I've never actually laid eyes on one. What are your experiences with these little guys?
 

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nicapopolis

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Is the elevation too high for a cottontail? I know nothing about them. Just hard to tell if it is white, or if that is the flash.
 

sierrahunter1

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I hear ya. Not sure. Elevation is over 6,000 ft. The picture, while infrared, seems to indicate the fur is white. But I'm not confident.
 

ilovesprig

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I've seen snowshoes in the Sierra's.....I always thought they were more similiar to jacks.....The ears on the one pictured seem too small.....Really hard to tell tho.

Here's a couple of pix I took in Montana last fall.....Pretty sure this is a snowshoe....Already starting to change colors.

.
 

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sierrahunter1

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Love the photos from Montana, Sprig.

Here's a description of Sierra Snowshoes from CDFW:

Description: A medium-sized (363-400 mm, TL) cinnamon-brown (summer pelage) rabbit with relatively short ears (76-99 mm); large, hirsute hindfeet (112-132 mm); and a short tail (25-40 mm) (Orr 1933, 1940, 1949). This is the smallest subspecies of snowshoe hare in western North America. The pelage is long, thick, and soft; there are two annual molts. In winter, individuals are more or less uniformly white (Orr 1940). Summer pelage is cinnamon-brown to brownish-black above and white beneath (Orr 1940, Hall 1946). The species is distinguished from L. townsendii by its smaller ears (less than 100 mm; slightly longer than the head), and smaller hindfeet (less than 138 mm) (Jameson and Peeters 1988). It is distinguished from L. a. klamathensis by its overall darker dorsal summer pelage with a contrasting blackish rump, other details of coloration, and skull proportions (see Orr 1933, 1940).

Taxonomic Remarks: The Sierra Nevada snowshoe hare was first described as a subspecies of L. washingtonii (Orr 1933) and later as a subspecies of L. americanus by Dalquest (1942). Distribution: Sierra Nevada showshoe hares inhabit the mid-elevations of the northern and central Sierra Nevada from approximately Mount Lassen in southeastern Shasta County south through Yosemite National Park to Mono and Mariposa counties. They have also been recorded from Nevada in the general vicinity of Lake Tahoe (Hall 1946, Richardson 1954). The southern locality is north of Mammoth (Mono County: CSUH 2593). The elevational range is from 4,800 ft at Mineral (Tehema County: MVZ 35017) to approximately 7,000 ft near Donner Summit (Placer County: MVZ 20860). L. t. tahoensis typically occurs below 8,000 ft; however, its upper elevational limits are unknown. There are a number of apparent sightings from Yosemite National Park (NPS unpubl. data) at localities above 8,000 ft, although these have not been verified.
 

ofdscooby

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F those jack rabbits they have creepy eyes they are like the clowns of the animal kingdom
 

madhunter

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I have seen two snowshoe hares in the Sierra's of Fresno County. One was dead on the side of the road on Hwy 168 at Tamarack Ridge (7,500') and one was alive in Kaiser Meadow (9,000') along the Kaiser Pass Road. They are much larger than cottontails and I have never seen cottontails up near that high.

If my daughter's rabbit hadn't died the day prior I would have got out and checked out the dead one, but I didn't need to hear the crying from the back seat for an hour and a half on the way home.
 

JNDEER

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Just make sure to bring a judo with you in the ladder stand.
 
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