Cycles in game-bag records of hares and rabbits in Britain.
Archive records, in the form of fur returns and game shooting bags, have been used in the past to explore population fluctuations in animals over long periods of time. Although the principles of time-series analysis were known in these early studies, they were not widely applied in ecology papers. In many cases it was difficult to know whether variations were cyclic or random. However, with the introduction of computers many of these old data sets are being re-examined.
Game-bag records of the three British lagomorphs are examined with time-series analysis to test whether or not any show anything other than random variation.
Some populations of all three species are found to show quasi-cyclic fluctuations-different from the cyclic fluctuations found in North American and Scandinavian species.