The European hare (Lepus europaeus), also known as the brown hare, is a species of hare native to Europe and parts of Western Asia and Central Asia. It was imported and released into New Zealand in 1851, and today it is well established in open country from sea level up to the alpine meadows at 2000 meters altitude.
Hares are primarily nocturnal and spend a third of their time foraging on grasses, clover and a wide range of other low herbage. Their imprint on the environment is considerably less than their cousin, the European rabbit, due to the hare being mainly solitary, not digging burrows, and the fact that adult hares typically live in large permanent territories of 200-300 hectares, which they vigorously defend. During the daytime, a hare will hide in a depression called a "form" where it is partially hidden. Hares can run at 70 km/h, and when confronted by predators, they rely on outrunning them in the open.