Fauna Details

Common Name Hewitt's Red Rockhare
Family Leporidae
Date Observed 23-09-2022
Category Mammals
Catalogue No. Z5005RG
Breeding/ Spawning Time Summer
When Observed DAYTIME
Locations Observed
Estuary Few
Nature Reserve Few
Small Holding
Village Few
Greater Rooiels

Pronolagus saundersiae


Hewitt's Red Rockhare

Some of us have been lucky enough to see Pronolagus saundersiae (Hewitt’s Red Rockhare) in Rooiels. It is dark grey, has a rustic-coloured tail and big, beautiful ears.
P. saundersiae was formerly considered as a subspecies of P. Rupestris (Smith’s Red Rockhares), but was elevated to full species level about a decade ago.
P. saundersiae is the only red rockhare that occurs in the Western Cape while P. rupestris does not occur south of the Namaqualand area, although the colouring and build might look similar.
Hewitt’s Red Rockhare are essentially nocturnal and many neighbourhood-watch patrollers have reported seeing one. One might also see one during the day when they come out to bask in the sun. In Rooiels, usually single animals are encountered and they do not seem to be frazzled by humans
They are predominantly grazers, but they might also be found nibbling on your plants and succulents.
In Rooiels the Red Rockhare is threatened by leopard, caracal, eagles and uncontrolled domestic animals.
Pic: Robert Miller