22 March 2021

Launch of the Scottish Mountain Hare Survey

Mountain hare on countRoss Macleod, GWCT Head of Policy (Scotland) said: “Following our involvement in the research and subsequent roll-out of a methodology for counting mountain hares at night approved by NatureScot, the Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust is pleased to be part of the project group now seeking to extend recording nationally to help inform conservation efforts. This scheme launches today and aims to improve understanding of mountain hare distribution and numbers across Scotland.

“We recognise that the night-time counting approach used principally on managed moorland is not suitable or even advisable in other areas of Scotland, particularly for reasons of safety. It is therefore important that further approaches to counting are developed in order to better understand the factors influencing the fortunes of mountain hares across their entire range.

“The Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust’s main contribution to this initiative will be to run specific night-time counts that afford comparison with the day-time approaches which the national scheme will promote. It will be valuable to contrast the methods and recognise any differences so that these can be taken into account in assessment of the mountain hare’s conservation status. We look forward to helping this important project.”

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Notes to editors

The Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust is an independent wildlife conservation charity which carries out scientific research into Britain’s game and wildlife. We advise farmers and landowners on improving wildlife habitats. We employ 22 post-doctoral scientists and 50 other research staff with expertise in areas such as birds, insects, mammals, farming, fish and statistics. We undertake our own research as well as projects funded by contract and grant-aid from Government and private bodies. The Trust is also responsible for a number of Government Biodiversity Action Plan species and is lead partner for grey partridge and joint lead partner for brown hare and black grouse.

For information, contact:

Playfair Walker
Telephone: 0131 445 5570
Email: richard@playfairwalker.com

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