Brown hare looking with ears down (c) Mike Rae


Hares are much longer-limbed and swifter than rabbits. They use their powerful hind legs to escape predation by outrunning their enemies, and have been known to reach speeds of 72kph (45mph). Brown hares are widespread throughout central and western Europe, including most of the UK, where they were introduced by the Romans. Courtship involves boxing, and this well-known 'mad March hare' behaviour actually involves unreceptive females fending off passionate males.

Did you know?
The European hare is the fastest land mammal in the UK.

Scientific name: Lepus europaeus

Rank: Species

Common names:

  • Brown hare,
  • European hare

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Map showing the distribution of the Hare taxa

Species range provided by WWF's Wildfinder.

The Hare can be found in a number of locations including: Asia, Europe, Russia, United Kingdom, Wales. Find out more about these places and what else lives there.


The following habitats are found across the Hare distribution range. Find out more about these environments, what it takes to live there and what else inhabits them.

Additional data source: Animal Diversity Web

Conservation Status

Least Concern

  1. EX - Extinct
  2. EW
  3. CR - Threatened
  4. EN - Threatened
  5. VU - Threatened
  6. NT
  7. LC - Least concern

Population trend: Decreasing

Year assessed: 2008

Classified by: IUCN 3.1