Espiritu Santo jackrabbit, Black hare, Black jackrabbit
The black jackrabbit (Lepus insularis ) is a species of mammal in the family Leporidae. Endemic to Mexico, its only known location is Espiritu Santo Island in the Gulf of California. The IUCN has listed this species as a "vulnerable species" because of its restricted range. This taxon is regarded by some authorities as being a subspecies of the black-tailed jackrabbit (L. californicus ), found on the mainland of Mexico.
Nocturnality is an animal behavior characterized by being active during the night and sleeping during the day. The common adjective is "nocturnal",...
A herbivore is an animal anatomically and physiologically adapted to eating plant material, for example, foliage, for the main component of its die...
In zoology, a folivore is a herbivore that specializes in eating leaves. Mature leaves contain a high proportion of hard-to-digest cellulose, less ...
Terrestrial animals are animals that live predominantly or entirely on land (e.g., cats, ants, snails), as compared with aquatic animals, which liv...
Jumping (saltation) can be distinguished from running, galloping, and other gaits where the entire body is temporarily airborne by the relatively l...
Precocial species are those in which the young are relatively mature and mobile from the moment of birth or hatching. Precocial species are normall...
Island endemic animals are found in a single defined geographic location, such as an island. Animals or organisms that are indigenous to a place ar...
Among animals, viviparity is the development of the embryo inside the body of the parent. The term 'viviparity' and its adjective form 'viviparous'...
Polygyny is a mating system in which one male lives and mates with multiple females but each female only mates with a single male.
Polygynandry is a mating system in which both males and females have multiple mating partners during a breeding season.
NoNot a migrant
Animals that do not make seasonal movements and stay in their native home ranges all year round are called not migrants or residents.
The Black jackrabbit is a hare native to Mexico. The only known location of this species is in the Gulf of California on Espiritu Santo Island. These hares are mainly glossy black with a fine dark cinnamon grizzling on their backs, with their underside being predominantly dark cinnamon. They have heavily padded soles to their feet. Black jackrabbit females are typically larger than males, like other hares.
Black jackrabbits are native to Espiritu Santo Island. They have also been introduced to Pichilinque Island, which is nearby. They are widespread on Espiritu Santo Island but most abundant in valleys and the adjoining lower slopes of hills. This island is a volcanic waterless island characterized by low mountains and rocky hills. Black jackrabbits prefer places that feature arid tropical shrubs, and plants like cacti, as the upper slopes are barren and rocky.
Black jackrabbits live solitary lives. Instead of digging and occupying burrows, these animals take shelter and rest in shallow depressions in soil or vegetation. In such a position, they look like a short, charred stump amongst the gray-green vegetation or on bare slopes and are very conspicuous, even when keeping still. Black jackrabbits are mostly nocturnal, spending most of the day in shade under bushes. When the mating season is in full swing, males lose their usual caution and are out and about pursuing females and fighting with other males, boxing with their forefeet and kicking with their hind feet.
Black jackrabbits are herbivores (folivores), they mainly eat grasses but will also feed on bark if food is scarce. All the water they need is gained through the vegetation they eat.
Not much is known about mating and the reproductive patterns of this species. However, they exhibit either polygynous (one male and multiple females) or polygynandrous (promiscuous - both the male and female have multiple partners) behavior. The mating season is usually just during the milder seasons, typically from January to August. A female will produce two or three litters during spring and summer, with normally three to four young per litter. Gestation is usually for 41 to 43 days. Different to rabbits, the young of this species are precocial, being well furred when born, with their eyes open, and able to move about soon after they are born. Weaning lasts just a few days, which is when the mother abandons her young.
The major threats to these animals are disturbance by humans, disturbance and loss of habitat due to exotic animals, and competition with domestic animals.
According to IUCN, the Black jackrabbit is common and widespread on the island but no overall population estimate is available. Currently this species is classified as Near Threatened (NT) on the IUCN Red List.