- Severand, Joye Harold
University of Maine Graduate School
Two years of study on the snowshoe hare through its artificial propagation have settled several questionable issues relating to the life history of this species. These hares will rebreed on the day of parturition. Combining this fact with the length if the gestation period, which is now known to average 30 days, four litters per season are possible. Fourth litters were obtained during this study and the combined average of the females was three litters per season. The number of litters per female in the wild apparently would be dependent in the density of population. The litters averaged 2.86 and 2.89 young respectively during the two seasons; the average number per litter definitely increased as the season advanced. It is believed that the factors cited above rather than abnormal fecundity are responsible for bring the population to it's peak. That is, the increase in the hare population from the low to the peak population is not due to an increase in the site of the litters but rather to a progressive increase in the average number of litters per season as the density of population becomes greater.