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Grouse shoots help hares

Scottish heather moorland managed for grouse shooting provides the best habitat for mountain hare, says a new report by Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH). The report was commissioned to establish whether counts of mountain hare droppings could be used to develop a reliable method for estimating the animal?s population density.

The report states: ?Hares are strongly associated with the heather moorland that is managed for red grouse ? where they likely benefit from habitat management and predator control aimed at improving grouse densities.?

SNH says that counting droppings has worked to estimate numbers of the closely-related North American snowshoe hare, but admits that ?unfortunately the results [in this case] do not provide us with the outcome we had envisaged.?

The rest of this article appears in 11th May issue of Shooting Times.

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