Riparian Zone Retreat and population studies Kirsten Matson Honors Biology 2 Period 1
Niche of Snowshoe Hare Lepus americanus <ul><li>Snowshoe hare are found in open field, fence rows, swamps, riverside thickets, and cider bogs. Common terrestrial binomes are forests, tundra, and taigas. </li></ul><ul><li>Snowshoe Hare’s diet can vary a lot. They eat a variety of different things. Green grasses, forbs, bluegrass, brome, vetches, asters, jewelweed, wild strawberry, pussy-toes, dandelions, clovers, daisies and horsetails are just some of what a Snowshoe Hare will eat. During the winter however it eats buds, twigs, bark, and evergreens. They also can cannibalize during winter on other dead hares but their primary diet is herbivore. </li></ul><ul><li>It is very common for hare’s to “freeze” when a predator approaches, its fur often blends in with its background. They will also flee and with their quick speeds they are almost impossible to catch. Since they eat don’t eat animals, hares don’t really have a problem getting food. They can just walk up to a bush and chow down. </li></ul>
Factors which Affect Birth Rate of Assigned Animal <ul><li>Snowshoe Hare’s mating season is from early March until August. </li></ul><ul><li>They reproduce two to five times in a year. </li></ul><ul><li>Their gestation period is 36 to 40 days. </li></ul><ul><li>Usually there is about 3-4 offspring in each litter. </li></ul><ul><li>The female hare cares from the young alone until they are weaned, this takes about four weeks. </li></ul><ul><li>Hares begin to breed during the spring after their birth and since their life span is so short, continue to breed until they die. </li></ul>
Factors Which Affect the Death Rate of Assigned Animal <ul><li>Predators of snowshoe hares include gray foxes, red foxes, coyotes, wolves, lynx, bobcats and mink. </li></ul><ul><li>They live approx. one year and two years is high. </li></ul><ul><li>Since hares have fur common parasites that can harm them are ticks, fleas, also tapeworms, and lung worms. </li></ul><ul><li>Over population can harm hares because there would not be enough food for them to eat and they would eventually begin to cannibalize. </li></ul>
Food Chain of Snowshoe Hare Producer Autotroph Primary Consumer Herbivore Secondary Consumer Carnivore Tertiary Consumer Carnivore
Food web of Assigned Organism Herbivore Producer Omnivore Carnivore Carnivore Producer Carnivore Herbivore Herbivore Omnivore Producer
Population Sampling Techniques <ul><li>The most common type of population sampling is capture recapture. They catch the hares and tag them then let them go. This way they do not count the same hare twice. There also is predator and prey relationship among your animal. </li></ul><ul><li>They use mark and recapture technique. The find the hares and mark them, then they let them go and this is how they would find the number. The time will pass and they can collect the data. </li></ul>
Stream Quality Data & Analysis <ul><li>The graph shows that the stream condition is good because there is an extremely high number of class I organisms. </li></ul><ul><li>Class I organisms can live only is good quality water so if you find them that would mean it is a good stream. Class II organisms can live in water that may not be so good so they might not be a good indicator of the water quality. Class III organisms live in poor water quality streams so if you find them it is a sign of bad water. </li></ul><ul><li>If the stream near a snowshoe hares niche is a poor water quality stream then the hare will have trouble living because it needs clean water. The hare could possible have to leave its habitat and find a new one so that it could have clean water. </li></ul><ul><li>If a majority of the organisms were in class III then this would definitely affect snowshoe hares and the ecosystem. Hares would have to leave their habitat and move to a new one. This would cut off a food source for animals like minks and foxes among many others. </li></ul>
Water Testing Data & Analysis <ul><li>A large amount of nitrates and phosphates indicates an unhealthy stream. A high or low ph is unhealthy for a stream. The oxygen level in a steam would make it unhealthy if it was below 6, the higher the better. </li></ul><ul><li>The ideal range for nitrates and phosphates in a stream is zero. The oxygen level should be between 6-10 but the higher the better. The pH should be a a neutral level which is close to 7. If these levels are outside of the ideal ranges many things could happen. Plant life in the stream will die as would organisms. </li></ul><ul><li>The snowshoe hare would have a hard time living near the marsh or mine water. The stream is the healthiest of the three and hares need clean water to live. They eat plants and the plants need to have healthy water to live. Animals that eat the hares would need to find another food source if the hare didn’t do well. </li></ul><ul><li>The temperature of the stream should be cool. The cooler the better. If it is too warm the little organisms that live in it will die. Turbidity of the stream should be clear. Cloudy water you not let sunlight to the bottom for the vegetation and also it would be harder for oxygen to get into the water. The rocks would become too slippery and the stream organisms would not be able to stick to them. </li></ul>
Soil Testing & Analysis <ul><li>It is important for the levels in the soil to be in the ideal ranges because if they are out of the ranges then plant live could not grow. Omnivores would then not be able to eat them and this could shatter the entire food chain/web of life. </li></ul><ul><li>The ideal ranges in the soil for the pH is neutral just like the water. The potash level in soil should be medium which would be around 12-14. Nitrate and phosphate levels should also be medium in soil. </li></ul><ul><li>If there is too much of the chemicals in the soil it can cause the soil to run into the streams and change the stream levels. This would be bad because all the organisms that depend on the stream for survival would die or have to move habitats. the ecosystem. </li></ul>
Positive and Negative Factors <ul><li>The snowshoe hare would have a hard time living near the marsh or mine water. The stream is the healthiest of the three and hares need clean water to live. They eat plants and the plants need to have healthy water to live. Animals that eat the hares would need to find another food source if the hare didn’t do well. </li></ul><ul><li>The soil levels in the riparian zone are actually rather healthy. The snowshoe hare would live well in this area because there would be a variety of good plants that it could eat to survive. </li></ul><ul><li>Something that could negatively affect the riparian zone is farmland run off. The waste from the cows and other animals can run off into the water or could be absorbed into the soil and this could change all of the levels in both stream and soil. To preserve the riparian zone we have to make sure that the farm is not to close to the stream. By making sure that there is some room between and by testing both the stream and soil to make sure nothing is going wrong will help to keep everything in the riparian zone healthy. If a snowshoe hare lived in the riparian zone and the farmland run off was badly affecting the area it would definitely affect the hare among many animals. The soil would cause the plants to not be able to grow correctly and then the hares food source would die out. This would cause the entire food chain to be in danger. </li></ul>
Conclusion <ul><li>I learned that everything is in the ecosystem is related in some way. It is crazy how if one species dies out if would affect everyone. </li></ul><ul><li>I found it interesting that snowshoe hares will eat their own during the winter when plant like is scarce. I never knew that they would resort to be cannibals. </li></ul><ul><li>Something I wouldn’t mind researching further is an individual species effect on the ecosystem. Meaning what would happen if it would die out and become overpopulated. </li></ul>
Works Cited Snowshoe Hare National Geographic http://animals.nationalgeographic.com/animals/mammals/snowshoe-hare.html Snowshoe Hare Life Tracks http://www.timberwolfinformation.org/kidsonly/wolfweb/hare.htm POPULATION DYNAMICS OF SNOWSHOE HARES IN RELATION TO FURBEARER HARVEST. EBSCOhost http://web.ebscohost.com/ehost/detail?vid=4&hid=12&sid=5d296d18-beaa-427e-ad53-462d8a55e7f6%40sessionmgr3&bdata=JnNpdGU9ZWhvc3QtbGl2ZQ%3d%3d#db=8gh&AN=1804183 Rabbits and Hares Facts for Learning http://www.factsforlearning.com/m-topic-display.aspx?pin=x-ra000700a¶m=+%22snowshoe%22+%22hare%22
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