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Mountain Hares in the Highlands: Can you help?

Friday 22nd March 2024, 9:31am

The Volunteer Mountain Hare Survey is underway again this year, and is looking to hillwalkers for help. Itís now quicker and easier to contribute mountain hare sightings, with a new, more streamlined on-line recording form which should only take a couple of minutes to complete. 

The Volunteer Mountain Hare Survey is open for for hillwalkers and climbers to participate over summer, autumn, and along with snowsport tourers through the winter, to help gather vital data on Mountain Hare populations in the Highlands. 

This year sees the introduction of a simple on-line recording form where people can input some basic information on any mountain hares they happen to see whilst out on a walk, or even if none were seen at all. Or, for those who prefer, you can record your sightings via the Mammal Mapper app. 

The survey was launched in March 2021 because conservation organisations had limited information on how many hares there are in Scotland and their distribution in the hills. Existing data indicated that there was an urgent need to protect hares and find out more about them, with gaps in data in the more remote uplands.

The survey is simple to do and, by contributing to an improved understanding of abundance and distribution across the Highlands, youíll be helping to inform management and conservation of this charismatic animal.

The survey is a run as a partnership between NatureScot, the British Trust for Ornithology, the Mammal Society and the Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust, and they would really appreciate your help to improve coverage.

©Lorne Gill/NatureScot.