Mountain hare

The mountain hare is well adapted to the cold.

Mountain hares are, unlike field hares, common in the National Park. They bear the typical characteristics of alpine animals: stocky build, broad hind limbs and short ears. The mountain hare lives in the forest or amongst reclining mountain pines and boulders.

Often, the only evidence of the mountain hare’s presence is its tracks in the snow. The imprint of the smaller forelimbs can be seen close together, whereas the broader hindlimbs are wider apart. The hare’s long hind feet are very hairy and they can be spread easily - almost as if the hare had snowshoes. They prevent it from sinking in the snow, which makes it easier to escape from its enemies.

The mountain hare’s winter coat is snow white, with black ear tips. In between seasons, its fur is white, flecked with grey-brown.

Before the female gives birth to her young in early summer, she will already have mated again. Summer in the mountains is not very long, but this strategy of superfetation allows more babies to be born within the short season.