The current status of the brown hare (Lepus europaeus) in Britain
Hutchings, M.R. and Harris, S.
This publication is no longer available in print
Using game bag records and county mammal reports, past changes in the numbers of hares in Britain are described. There appears to have been a widespread decline in hare numbers following the introduction of the Ground Game Act 1880, with declines occurring even earlier in parts of the west, where hare numbers have shown little signs of recovering thereafter. In central and eastern areas, hare numbers increased at various rates up to the Second World War.
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Download The current status of the brown hare (Lepus europaeus) in Britain in sections:
  • Download Content, Foreword and Executive Summary (PDF, 428 kb)
  • Download Chapter 1 Introduction (PDF, 691 kb)
    1.1 Origins and early spread of the brown hare
    1.2 The pattern and timing of brown hare population declines in Britain
    1.3 Previous brown hare surveys in Britain
    1.4 Objectives of the national brown hare survey
  • Download Chapter 2 Survey Methods (PDF, 770 kb)
    2.1 Introduction
    2.2 Line transect sampling
    2.3 Stratifying the survey
    2.4 Survey area and methods
    2.5 Processing and analysing the data
    2.6 Preliminary analyses
    2.6.1 Were enough squares surveyed?
    2.6.2 Were the data from the three date periods and the two winters comparable?
    2.6.3 Were the data comparable between credit ratings?
    2.6.4 Were hares equally visible in all habitats?
    2.6.5 Were the transect habitat data representative of the habitats in each one-kilometre square?
    2.7 Summary
  • Download Chapter 3 How many brown hares are there in Britain? (PDF, 735 kb)
    3.1 The DISTANCE program
    3.1.1 Detection functions
    3.1.2 Analysing the transect data
    3.2 Hare densities in different land class groups
    3.3 Population estimates
    3.4 Calculating confidence intervals on the population estimate
    3.5 Summary
  • Download Chapter 4 The influence of habitat structure on the numbers of brown hares (PDF, 772 kb)
    4.1 Introduction
    4.2 Habitats selected and avoided as diurnal lying-up sites
    4.3 Habitats associated with high or low hard densities
    4.4 The effects of habitat richness and diversity on hare numbers
    4.5 The effects of set-aside on hare numbers
    4.6 A model to predict high and low hare densities
    4.7 Summary
  • Download Chapter 5 The association between gamekeeping and field sports and the numbers of brown hares (PDF, 670 kb)
    5.1 Introduction
    5.2 The impact of gamekeeping on hare numbers
    5.3 The association between field sports and hare numbers
    5.4 The interactions between the effects of gamekeepers and field sports on hare numbers
    5.5 A model to predict high and low hare numbers
    5.6 Summary
  • Download Chapter 6 General discussion (PDF, 490 kb)
    6.1 Introduction
    6.2 Problems with monitoring hare population changes
    6.3 How many hares were there prior to 1880?
    6.4 What changes in hare numbers are likely to occur in the future?
  • Download Chapter 7 Acknowledgements, 8 References and 9 Appendix: Instruction sheets sent to surveyors(PDF, 784 kb)
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ISBN 1 86107 404 2
Please cite as: Hutchings, M.R. and Harris, S., (1996), The current status of the brown hare (Lepus europaeus) in Britain, This publication is no longer available in print, ISBN 1 86107 404 2