Children know a male rabbit is called a buck. A female, or doe, produces baby rabbits called kits, short for kitten, after a gestation period of around 31 days. The doe can give birth up to 12-13 kits.
With Spring in the air, UK biologists are calling on the public to report sightings of rabbits and hares as part of a conservation effort. The furry animals are easier to spot when vegetation is low and the breeding season is under way. Round in shape, rabbits hop. The more streamlined, angular hares with pointed ears topped with black, lollop.
The mammal Society reports that hares may be declining in parts of the UK, while rabbits have been hit by myxomatosis and other viral diseases.
Early settlers of wealth and privilege took rabbits over to Australia and let them loose, hoping to create a familiar countryside in which to hunt. But without predators in the new land, rabbits bred unhindered. I'm sure many a convict snagged one for their pot. Once rabbit burrows became a major problem in the light, dry soil, the authorities used airborne mosquitoes to spread myxomatosis as a measure to wipe them out, which was not wholly successful and caused terrible misery to the animals.
In England, natural measures like foxes or birds of prey keep populations level. They are part of the ecosystem and lots of other animals depend on them, either through grazing of their habitat.
Because of a lack of information on the animals, ordinary people are being asked to send in photographs of rabbits and hares to help map the UK population.
Lord Aldenham has refused to allow archaeologists to dig for early English or Roman finds. He protects his land with a warden, who wouldn't let my friend and I walk across his land to reach the lake one day. The Lord is probably hunting pheasants right now along with rabbits for his pot.
As part of the estate, the Common was a parcel of land given to the church by King Offa. King of Mercia, a warrior tribe in a central kingdom of Anglo-Saxon England, from 757. Offa came to the throne after a period of civil war following the assassination of Æthelbald. He took over many other kingdoms, consolidating his position by marrying his daughters to the kings of Wessex and Northumbria. He became the first ruler to be called 'king of the English'. Don't you just love history? Women were chattels to be used by men.
As far as I know, males and female rabbits and hares have clear roles with equal importance.
Do any rabbits or hares live close to you?