Native to Labrador. Introduced to the Island around 1860.
Snowshoe hares prefer dense stands (usually after a disturbance) of young conifers or brushy deciduous growth where there is lots of food and good shelter. In mature forests hare numbers are generally lower.
Snowshoe hares are found in North America throughout much of the boreal forest. In the southern part of this forest in the East they are found along the Appalachian Mountains and west along the Rocky mountains far south as North Carolina and New Mexico. To the north, their distribution reaches as far as the Arctic Ocean.
Snowshoe hares feed on a variety of deciduous trees and shrubs, (birch, willow, maple), some conifers (white pine, balsam fir), grasses and wild plants (raspberry and fireweed).
Common predators include the lynx, colored fox, coyote, great horned owl and goshawk. The snowshoe hare goes through what is called cyclic fluctuations about every ten years. When hare numbers are high, species populations like the lynx start to increase and when hare populations go down the lynx population will also decrease.
Some live more than 3 years in the wild and can live up to 8 years in captivity.
The snowshoe hare is a large-footed animal that turns white in winter and a dark brown in summer. The large feet help the hare to stay on top of the snow in winter.
Average hare weighs around (2 - 4 lbs)(0.9 - 1.8 kg); average length is (16 - 20 inches)(413 - 518 mm).
Snowshoe hares usually have two or three litters a year born from April to August. Litter size ranges from 1-8 young. Gestation period is between 36 to 37 days. The young nurse once a day and support themselves after three weeks.