Home // Research grants // Our UK mammal projects // Counting mountain hares in the Lammermuir hills- past project

Counting mountain hares in the Lammermuir hills- past project

The mountain hare is Britain's only indigenous hare. It is adapted to severe conditions and thrives in the Scottish highlands. Animals from there were introduced onto shooting estates in Scotland in the 19th century.

This project has now finished

The problem

Information on population numbers is sketchy and yet populations are threatened nationally by culling on grouse moors. Reliable estimates of population numbers is an essential basis for any debate about the future status of the mountain hare as a protected species and about the effects of culling hares on grouse moors.

The solution

This project aimed to establish methods, including thermal imaging, to give reliable independent estimates of mountain hare numbers in the north-west Lammermuirs. We had agreement with the Estates we worked with to inform us of timing, number and location of culls. We assessed the short and longer term effects of culling on mountain hare numbers over a period of several years. To our knowledge, this cooperation was unique in Scotland.

We also investigated whether grouse moor management practices do indeed lead to an environment favourable to larger populations of mountain hares. This will inform the current general debate on the environmental and biodiversity implications of such practices.

Let's keep in touch...

We'd love to tell you about our conservation work through our regular newsletter Wildlife World, and also how you can save endangered species through volunteering, taking action or donating. You must be 18 or over. The information that you provide will be held by People’s Trust for Endangered Species. For information on how PTES processes personal data, please see our privacy policy.

People's Trust For Endangered Species

People's Trust for Endangered Species, 3 Cloisters House, 8 Battersea Park Road, London SW8 4BG

Registered Charity Number: 274206 • Site Design: Mike Leach Creative at Waters • Branding: Be Colourful

Copyright PTES 2023

- Enter Your Location -
- or -