Hares of Erongo Mountains

Hares of Erongo Mountains in Namibia are often listed as scrub hares in trip reports. I saw a few hares there in August 2017 and they all looked like this one. I think it’s a typical Cape hare, am I right?


  • Guy Palmer

    If I had seen this animal in the Western Cape, South Africa, I would have said that it was a typical Scrub Hare, due to the lack of ruset flanks, “large” ears and the “convex” dorsal appearance of the head as well as the general appearance.( I have recently processed large numbers of camera trap images for the Cape and Scrub Hares from the little Karoo area.) However knowing the considerable regional variation I am reluctant to place any vital parts of my anatomy on the block regarding a 100% identification. It would be useful to have a range of lateral images of both spp to enable a more confident stab at this…..

    • Vladimir Dinets

      Ear length is variable in both species; Erongo is a hot dry place so they can be expected to be longer than, say, in Cape area.
      There’s plenty of lateral photos on the web, but some are likely misidentified. Looks like scrub hare has more grizzled pattern, bigger eyes, and more visible black patch on the tail. It also has less white on the underparts, particularly the throat.
      HMW says that the eye ring is supposed to be white in Cape hare and gray or buff in scrub hare, and extends to the nose in the latter.

  • Charles Foley

    I agree with Guy, that looks very much like a Scrub/Savanna hare to me. I would rely more on the shape of the head than on pelage colour, as that can vary hugely even within species. Next time cut its head off and look at its teeth and you’ll know for sure….

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