Mammal Identification

Mountain Hare Lepus timidus

Identification features

Photo: John Fielding

  • Medium sized mammal
  • Large linear ears about 1.5 times as long as the head with black tips
  • A very short tail which is white all over
  • Fur is has a dusky brown colour in summer but is white or creamy grey white in winter.
  • They do not disappear down burrows
  • Bigger than a rabbit
  • Very fast moving animals

Mountain hares are herbivores and are associated in Derbyshire with the gritstone moors. They are distinctively white or mottled white between November and April and stand out well amongst the surrounding vegetation, when it is not snowy.

Like brown hares, they have shallow depressions in long grass/crops known as forms.

Other identification clues


Photo: Debbie CourtBeing herbivores mountain hares produce lots of droppings.

They are yellow-brown or green in colour and are 'cough-sweet' shaped small and circular with a flattened top. They are larger than rabbit droppings and are 15-20mm in diameter.

The coarse vegetation material eaten is clearly seen.

Status in Derbyshire information

Photos: John Fielding (Mountain hare) Debbie Alston (droppings)