Indian HareLepus nigricollis

  • Savannah
  • Mammal
  • Hare
  • Introduced species


Lepus nigricollis is also called the black-naped hare due to the patch of black fur that runs along the nape of the neck. It also has a dark patch on the top of its tail. Its face is brown with some black and the fur on its underside is whitish in colour. Like all hares they have long ears and large hind feet. Adults can range between 40 to 70 cm in length and weigh between 1.35 to 7 kg. Females are larger than males.

Habitat and ecology

As its name suggests, the Indian hare is native to the Indian subcontinent with the exception of higher elevations of the Himalayas and the mangrove areas of the Sundarbans. It is unclear to know exactly in what year the hare was introduced to Mauritius, but it is noted as already existing on the island in 1776.

Lepus nigricollis are found in a wide variety of habitats such as short grasslands, barren agricultural fields, crop fields, and forest roads, and in Mauritius it is abundant in sugar cane fields.

Indian hares usually forage on forbs and grasses. They are known to be a shy species that are active towards the end of the day and at night.

While the animal is known to breed throughout the year, Indian hares in their native range are known to prefer the monsoon season. Litters are usually made of four individuals.


Conservation and Management

Indian hares are common wherever they have been introduced. Indian hares are not known to pose any threat to native species. However, in their native range their habitat is becoming increasingly fragmented due the expansion of agricultural areas, dwindling forest resources due to wood collection and hunting.


Did you know?

In Mauritius throughout sugar cane plantations, the Indian hare has been traditionally hunted; and the Civet de Lièvre is a popular dish.