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Arctic hare makes record-breaking 388-kilometre journey across Canada’s North

By Christy Somos

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    TORONTO (CTV Network) — An Arctic hare travelled more than 388 kilometres over seven weeks in Canada’s Far North, the longest distance ever recorded for any hare, rabbit or similar animal.

The hare, named “BBYY,” is the subject of a report in a December entry in the journal Ecology, where researchers plotted her course of more than 388 kilometres in 49 days.

Because the Artic hare is such an important link in the food chain, researchers from the Universite du Quebec wanted to study how they moved across the frozen landscape.

In 2019, the researchers put satellite tracking collars on 25 hares they captured on the northern tip of Ellesmere Island in Nunavut.

Normally hares and their relatives spend their lives within a familiar territory where food is easy to find, but the Arctic hares wearing collars travelled anywhere between 113 to 310 kilometres. according to the report.

BBYY went on the longest journey, dying from unknown causes approximately one month after reaching her final destination.

The researchers hope to use data from BBYY and their other research subjects to help create better conservation strategies for the Arctic ecosystem.

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Sonja Puzic

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