Scottish Moorland Group statement on mountain haresPress Release
The Scottish Moorland Group has issued the following response to an RSPB Scotland release on mountain hares.
A spokesman for the Scottish Moorland Group said: “This research is very much out of kilter with other respected research on mountain hares. As recently as October 2017 Scottish Natural Heritage reported to the Scottish Parliament that evidence of a national decline in mountain hares since the mid-1990s is not conclusive.
"This latest research also flies in the face of what estate owners and land managers see every day on the ground - that hare populations are very high.
"We are perplexed that the author of this report did not seek to get data from moorland managers. It should be remembered that mountain hares are only culled when the populations are sufficiently high and culls only control a very small percentage of the population. Culling, which covers a range of activity from shooting for food to habitat protection, is legal and is conducted under a code of practice agreed by the moorland sector.
"We support the approach of Scottish Natural Heritage which has recently published research to progress the methods of counting mountain hares.
“It will, however, come as little surprise that RSPB Scotland has chosen to release this paper, continuing its political campaigning against grouse moor management, on the day that the season gets underway and it is obviously an attempt to influence the ongoing independent review of grouse shooting which includes mountain hare management."