Mountain Hare Facts | Switzerland Wildlife Guide
Mountain hares have a special survival trick. Most hares give birth for the first time in the season in the early summer; but, before the young arrive, the mother will mate again! The strategy is called superfetation and allows mothers to give birth to more babies in the short season before the snows set in. Another survival trick is “hooking.” Before a hare rests in its “form” (a small indentation in the ground or snow), it will jump to the side of where it made tracks to confuse predators. Sometimes this will be done repeatedly.
Like the ptarmigan, mountain hares suffer from loss of habitat and vegetation due to climate change. Swiss universities and global organizations follow the situation carefully. One primary area of concern is that groups of mountain hares will find themselves more isolated from each other, leading to genetic impoverishment. Their hope is to help identify ways to keep different groups interconnected to allow the species to survive and hopefully thrive.
While elusive, you may still be lucky enough to see mountain hares while in Swiss National Park.