Wildlife / Scotland / Gaming / Conservation / Game / Conservatives / Aberdeenshire / Cairngorms / Estates in the East Cairngorms Moorland Partnership / Mountain Hares / Scottish Natural Heritage

New method will help count number of hares in the East Cairngorms

Posted On: 14 Sep 2019   |   Posted By: Press and Journal

Estates in the east Cairngorms are preparing to undertake a second year of mountain hare monitoring using new methods of counting.
In the last few months of 2018, Balmoral, Invercauld, Mar and Glenavon estates surveyed 10 sites, covering an area of 40 square kilometres, all of which were on grouse moors.
Mountain hares were observed in all survey areas, with an average of 16 mountain hares encountered per kilometre walked by surveyors.
With new SNH research methodology based on an encounter rate of eight hares per kilometre, that would suggest an estimated population of at least 2,000 mountain hares on the surveyed area.
Ross MacLeod of the Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust, who provided training in undertaking the SNH survey technique, said: “Last winter's counts indicated a robust population of hares on the grouse moors surveyed.
“Accurate data on mountain hare numbers in rural Scotland has been limited up until now but the new counting methodology provides valuable information at a time when there is a...

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