Hares

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SCOMAN

Full Member
Dec 31, 2005
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Perthshire
I used to see hare's on the town outskirts but they seem to have disappeared to only an occasional one. I understand the nearby Munro is full of them. I walked up to the old man of Hoy a few years ago and there was loads all still in their winter coat.
 

punkrockcaveman

Full Member
Jan 28, 2017
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yorks
Yep got a few round here :) I always forget how big and fast they are until I see the next one. Population seems to be holding well over the last 15 years that I've kept an eye out for them. Seen a few roadkill sadly recently
 

Broch

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Jan 18, 2009
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Mid Wales
I used to see hare's on the town outskirts but they seem to have disappeared to only an occasional one. I understand the nearby Munro is full of them. I walked up to the old man of Hoy a few years ago and there was loads all still in their winter coat.

I take it you're talking about mountain hares? (Lepus timidus - our native species). Sadly no longer in this part of the country - restricted to Scotland and, I believe some, in the Pennines. Ours are are Brown Hare (Lepus europus).
 

SCOMAN

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Dec 31, 2005
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Perthshire
The hares I seen around town I always considered just hares but the ones up the hill were definitely mountain hares. The last few times I seen them was last year in spring but I had the dogs with me and they were off like a bullet. My two dogs didn't even see them.
 

Fadcode

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Feb 13, 2016
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Cornwall
It seems a lot are suffering from disease, apparently Myxomatosis, which is normally spread by blood sucking insects, and it seeems its affecting the Hare population as well as the rabbit population, research suggests there is only about 1% mountain Hare population there was in the 1950's, the future doesn't look good for them or the Brown Hare at the moment.
As the disease makes them blind and lethargic they are more prone to attack from raptors and corvids.
 
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Broch

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Jan 18, 2009
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Mid Wales
I had read similar reports but recently have found contradictory statements. Because hares don't live in warrens, underground, and in large colonies the spread of Myxomatosis is far slower and less likely. So, although hares have been found with the disease it is not considered likely (by some) that it will cause the devastating drop in numbers predicted. However, brown hare numbers have dropped 90% since the 50's.

Mountain hares are still culled extensively on Scottish moorland to 'protect' grouse shoots - I think that is far more likely to cause problems than Myxomatosis up there. Population sizes vary naturally ten-fold reaching a peak every ten years or so making actual comparisons very difficult.
 

Broch

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Jan 18, 2009
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Mid Wales
It is claimed they spread a flea or tick that carries disease that affects grouse. I have no idea if it is true or indeed, if it's not, why they should need to be culled.
 

demographic

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Apr 15, 2005
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The more time I spend working on or around grouse moors the more I see them as being a problem rather than a solution.
Raptor persecution, heather burning causing less porosity of the moorland making flooding downstream more likely, less biodiversity, wipes out trees from getting started yada yada.
But, at least the Golden Plover population is doing well eh?*


Then they sometimes recieve government subsidies and are often owned by people who dodge UK tax by having their business based in the Caymen or Channel Islands makes it even more irritating to me.


As for Hares, I sometimes see them when I've been driving to a job on Vindolanda Roman museum and last year me and a mate went camping near where I used to live and as I was sloping off for a pee at daft O clock in the morning and two were boxing.
Think it was about June but I guess they practice?


*anytime grouse shooting is under pressure they counter with how well golden plovers are doing like that makes up for the raptor persecution.
 
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FerlasDave

Full Member
Jun 18, 2008
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Off the beaten track
I live a couple of miles away from moel ysgyfarnogod which literally means “hill of the hares”. Locals can remember it being covered in mountain hares only a couple of decades ago, for some reason it was a popular breeding ground. But now we’re lucky if we see a single European hare I’ve not seen any for at least two years now, it’s a real shame. Plenty of grouse up there though! :dunno:

The plus side is we get plenty of skylarks breeding up there though, which is an awesome way to spend an evening if you ask me.
 

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