Winter locomotor activity pa6tterns of European hares (Lepus europaeus)
In this study, activity patterns of the European hare (Lepus europaeus) were analyzed during winter using global positioning system (GPS) collars on 24 hares in two study areas located in central Italy. We programmed the collars to collect 12 location points per day, for a duration of three months. Results show two distinct phases of activities related to the day-night cycle. The daytime phase is characterized by inactivity at the form while the second phase is characterized by movements. Males were more active than females, showing a constant locomotor activity during the whole night. Females showed two peaks of activity during the night with a reduction in the middle of this time period. The comparison between females of the two study areas showed difference in interfix distance in particular around sunset and sunrise. In fact the minimum daily movement between the two areas shows that foraging sites of area B are more distant than those of area A. The recent possibility to apply GPS collars on small-medium mammals provides a powerful instrument to study the behavioral ecology of the European hare, and consequently promote an effective population management strategy for the species conservation.
KeywordsEuropean hare Locomotor activity Lepus europaeus GPS
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.
- Angelici, F.M., Riga, F., Boitani, L, Luiselli, L., 1999. Use of dens by radiotracked brown hares Lepus europaeus. Behav. Process 47, 205–209.Google Scholar
- Holley, A.J.F., 2001. Daily activity period of the brown hares (Lepus europaeus). Mamm. Biol. 66, 357–364.Google Scholar
- Homolka, M., 1986. Daily activity pattern of the European hare (Lepus europaeus). Folia Zool. 35(1), 33–42.Google Scholar
- Rühe, F., Hohmann, U., 2004. Seasonal locomotion and home-range characteristics of European hares (Lepus europaeus) in an arable region in central Germany. Eur. J. Wild. Res. 50, 101–111.Google Scholar
- Trocchi, V., Riga, F., 2005. I lagomorfi in Italia. Linee guida per la conservazione e gestione. Documenti Tecnici ISPRA 25, 13–38.Google Scholar