What kind of animal is the Japanese hare? Explanation of characteristics, ecology, and habitat Let’s find it in parks and forests


What kind of animal is the Japanese hare? We will explain its characteristics, ecology, and habitat. As the name suggests, it is a hare and can be seen in most areas of Japan, making it a fairly famous rabbit. However, some species have been designated as endangered species, so they are in need of protection.

What is a Japanese hare? About basic status

The Japanese hare is a rabbit classified in the Lagomorpha (Lagomorpha) family and Lagomorpha family. The scientific name is Lepus brachyurus and the kanji is Japanese hare. The body length is 40-50 cm and the weight is 1-2 kg. The list of information is as follows.

English(英名)Japanese hare
scientific name(学名)Lepus brachyurus
classification(分類)Mammalia、Lagomorpha、 Leporidae、Lepus

About classification

The Japanese hare has the following subspecies: There are endemic rabbit species not only on Honshu, but also on Sado Island and the Oki Islands.

  • L. b. brachyurus キュウシュウノウサギ
  • L. b. angustidens トウホクノウサギ
  • L. b. lyoni サドノウサギ
  • L. b. okiensis オキノウサギ

About habitat

The Japanese hare is distributed mainly in Honshu, Shikoku, and Kyushu in Japan. The creatures are also managed at the zoo and can be seen in information about events.

feature is? What kind of creature is it?

The Japanese hare has brown fur all over its body, and white fur on its abdomen. Populations that live in snow-covered areas on the Sea of Japan side have white fur all over their bodies in winter. The appearance differs depending on the species. Japanese hares live mainly in grasslands and forests, and are often solitary. During the day, they hide and protect themselves from natural predators by resting in bushes or at the base of trees, so they are primarily nocturnal rabbits. Rabbits live in holes.

What is your personality like?

Japanese hares are generally considered to be gentle, but they also have a nervous side, and are very cautious due to the risk of being attacked by natural enemies.

What does the ecology look like?

Japanese hares are herbivores, subsisting on grass, leaves, buds, bark, etc. The reproductive form is viviparous and the gestation period is 40 days. They can give birth to 1 to 4 cubs at a time, and the young can move around a week after birth and become independent within a month. Sexual maturity can occur in 8-10 months. The lifespan is said to be less than 5 years.

Are there any natural enemies?

Japanese hares are full of natural enemies, including dogs, cats, foxes, weasels, and even bears.

Is the Japanese hare an endangered species?

Japanese hares can be caught in traps and overhunted for food and for their fur. Due to this, the population of the subspecies Sadono hare has decreased, and it is designated as near-threatened in Niigata Prefecture’s Red Data Book. The Kyushu hare is also protected as an endangered species in Saitama and Yamaguchi prefectures.

Can Japanese hares be kept as pets?

Japanese hares are managed under the Wildlife Protection and Management Act, and breeding is possible only if the animals are provided or obtained with a hunting permit based on hunting qualifications and permits. Wild rabbits are found in nature.

need a cage

Rabbits need cages. Make sure you have materials that are safe for chewing, and a set that includes a drinking bowl, toilet, and chewing tree. If you don’t make it as large as possible, your rabbit will feel cramped and stressed. You can get it for around 10,000 to 15,000 yen.

chewable toys

Chewing toys are a must for rabbits. Rabbits’ teeth continue to grow, so if they don’t chew, their teeth will grow too long and they won’t be able to eat.

rabbit food

We recommend special pet food for rabbits. I have also introduced the following articles, so I hope you find them helpful.


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