www - or the Africa Travel Guide EcoTravel Africa
Eco Travel Guide to South Africa and Southern Africa
Mammals of Southern Africa

Large Mammals   Smaller Mammals 

The "Big 5": Lion LeopardElephant Buffalo Rhino

A Guide to the: Springhare - Pedetes capensis

The Springhare gets its kangaroo-like appearance from its long tail, long and powerful hindlegs and foreshortened forelegs. It gets its name from the fact that it is an avid jumper, and can cover two metres in each bound. The springhare is a rodent, not a hare, and is the only species in its own family. It has a short, round head with large eyes and long, narrow, upright ears. It is a grazer, feeding almost entirely on grass, though it does eat roots and the leaves of low bushes. It does not drink water, getting its moisture from rain, dew and free water in food eaten. The Springhare's enemies include snakes and owls as well as weasels, mongooses and jackals; man is also a major predator.

In Zimbabwe and Botswana springhares are a source of protein and the Koi-San are so fond of them that they eat almost every part of the anatomy. The springhare is nocturnal, and so is often caught on the road in the glare of a car's headlights. It excavates a burrow as its shelter: burrows often have more than one exit, and may be linked to neighbouring burrows. The female gives birth to her single young inside the burrow, where it remains for the first seven weeks of its life, before being weaned onto grass.

More facts about Springhares

Learn more about the mammal species of Southern Africa with Wildlife Campus. This includes in-depth information about habitat, spoor, droppings, ecology...

Wildlife Campus offers many courses including: Field Guide Courses (FGASA); Game Ranging; Wildlife Management; Photography; Astronomy...

South Africa - Travel Guides - Wildlife Guides
Guides: Activities & Interests Regions & Areas Routes MapsNature ReservesWildlife - Fauna & Flora

Animal, Fungi and Plant Kingdoms, Geomorphology, Climatology & Ecology Guides
~~  Vertebrates: • Amphibians Birds Fish Mammals Reptiles  ~~
  ~~   Invertebrates  ~~  Trees
Grasses Herbaceous Plants  ~~  Fungi  ~~
~~   Climatology   ~~   Geomorphology   ~~   Terrestrial Ecology Marine Ecology  ~~

Destinations  Chat  Education  Environment  e-Zine  Extreme  Guides  Health  News  Volunteers