DLPS Faculty Publications

Spatial Trends in Canadian Snowshoe Hare, Lepus americanus, Population Cycles

Charles H. Smith, Western Kentucky University

Document Type Article

Received 10 September 1981; Accepted 30 August 1982


Population levels of the Snowshoe Hare (Lepus americanus) are well known to exhibit cyclic fluctuations. Little attention has been given to detailed analysis of the spatial trends associated with these, however, and in this work an argument and empirical foundation is laid for such studies. Data first reported as "The Canadian Snowshoe Rabbit Enquiry" in the 1930's and 1940's are reformulated and statistically summarized and mapped. Immediate results indicate: 1) the diffusion of the population level change "wave" across Canada is affected by topographic and ecological factors; and 2) a multi-nodal diffusion model is more appropriate than a single-nodal model in understanding the dynamics of the ten-year cycle system.