Mountain hare

The mountain hare (Lepus timidus), also known as blue hare, tundra hare, variable hare, white hare, snow hare, alpine hare, and Irish hare, is a Palearctic hare that is largely adapted to polar and mountainous habitats.

Mountain hare [1]
Lepus timidus 01
Mountain hare in its summer pelage
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Lagomorpha
Family: Leporidae
Genus: Lepus
Species:
L. timidus
Binomial name
Lepus timidus
Mountain Hare area
Mountain hare range (green - native, red - introduced)

Distribution

This species is distributed from Fennoscandia to eastern Siberia; in addition there are isolated mountain populations in the Alps, Ireland, Scotland, the Baltics, northeastern Poland and Hokkaidō. The mountain hare has also been introduced to New Zealand, Iceland, Shetland, Orkney, the Isle of Man, the Peak District, Svalbard, Kerguelen Islands, Crozet Islands, and the Faroe Islands.[3][4][5] In the Alps, the mountain hare lives at elevations from 700 to 3800 m, depending on biographic region and season.[6]

Description

Common and irish hare
European hare (above) compared with a mountain hare
Lepus timidus 01
Stuffed mountain hare, showing the winter pelage

The mountain hare is a large species, though it is slightly smaller than the European hare. It grows to a length of 45–65 cm (18–26 in), with a tail of 4–8 cm (1.6–3.1 in), and a mass of 2–5.3 kg (4.4–11.7 lb), females being slightly heavier than males.[7][8] In summer, for all populations of mountain hares, the coat is various shades of brown. In preparation for winter most populations moult into a white (or largely white) pelage. The tail remains completely white all year round, distinguishing the mountain hare from the European hare (Lepus europaeus), which has a black upper side to the tail.[7] The subspecies Lepus timidus hibernicus (the Irish mountain hare) stays brown all year and individuals rarely develop a white coat. The Irish hare may also have a "golden" variation, particularly those found on Rathlin Island.

Behaviour

Mountain Irish Hare
"Mountain, Irish Hare" illustration from "British Mammals" by A. Thorburn, 1920
Die vergleichende Osteologie (1821) Lepus timidus
Skeleton

Studies have shown that the diet of the mountain hare varies from region to region. It seems to be somewhat dependent on the particular habitat that the population under study lives in. For example, in northern Scandinavia where snow may blanket the ground for many months, the hares may graze on twigs and bark. In areas where snowfall is rare, such as Ireland, grass may form the bulk of the diet. Given a choice, mountain hares in Scotland and Ireland seem to prefer feeding on grasses. One study looking at mountain hares on a coastal grassland environment in Ireland found that grasses constituted over 90% of the diet. This was higher than the percentage of grass in the diet of the European rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus) that inhabited the same environment. The mountain hare is regionally the favourite prey of the golden eagle and may additionally be preyed on by Eurasian eagle-owls and red foxes. Stoats may prey on young hares.[8]

In northern parts of Finland, Norway and Sweden, the mountain hare and the European hare compete for habitat. The European hare, being larger, is usually able to drive away the mountain hare but is less adapted for living in snowy regions: its feet are smaller and its winter fur is a mixture of white and brown. While this winter fur is actually a very good camouflage in the coastal regions of Finland where the snow covers the shrubs but for a short time, the mountain hare is better adapted for the snowier conditions of the inland areas.

The Arctic hare (Lepus arcticus) was once considered a subspecies of the mountain hare, but it is now regarded as a separate species. Similarly, some scientists believe that the Irish hare should be regarded as a separate species. Fifteen subspecies are currently recognised.[2]

Human impact

In the European Alps the mountain hare lives at elevations from 700 to 3800 m, depending on biographic region and season.The development of alpine winter tourism has increased rapidly since the last few decades of the 20th century, resulting in expansion of ski resorts, growing visitor numbers, and a huge increase in all forms of snow sport activities. A 2013 study looking at stress events and the response of mountain hares to disturbance concluded that those hares living in areas of high winter recreational activities showed changes in physiology and behaviour that demanded additional energy input at a time when access to food resources is restricted by snow. It recommended ensuring that forests inhabited by mountain hares were kept free of tourist development, and that new skiing areas should be avoided in mountain hare habitat, and that existing sites should not be expanded.[9]

In August 2016, the Scottish animal welfare charity OneKind launched a campaign on behalf of the mountain hare, as a way of raising awareness of mountain hare culls taking place across the country and in garnering public support for the issue. Mountain hares are routinely shot in the Scottish Highlands both as part of paid hunting "tours" and by gamekeepers managing red grouse populations (who believe that mountain hares can be vectors of diseases which affect the birds). Much of this activity is secretive [10] but investigations have revealed that tens of thousands of hares are being culled every year.[11] The campaign, which urges people to proclaim that "We Care For The Mountain Hare", will culminate with the charity urging the Scottish government to legislate against commercial hunting and culling of the iconic Scottish species. The campaign has revealed widespread public support for a ban on hare hunting in Scotland.

External links

References

  1. ^ Hoffman, R.S.; Smith, A.T. (2005). "Order Lagomorpha". In Wilson, D.E.; Reeder, D.M. Mammal Species of the World: A Taxonomic and Geographic Reference (3rd ed.). Johns Hopkins University Press. p. 204. ISBN 978-0-8018-8221-0. OCLC 62265494.
  2. ^ a b Lagomorph Specialist Group (1996). "Lepus timidus". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2008. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved January 28, 2010.
  3. ^ Long, John L. (2003). Introduced Mammals of the World: Their History, Distribution and Influence. Cabi Publishing (ISBN 9780851997483)
  4. ^ www.divinefrog.co.uk, Divine Frog Web Services. "Hare Preservation Trust".
  5. ^ http://iberianature.com/wildworld/guides/wildlife-of-the-faroe-islands/mammals-of-the-faroes/
  6. ^ Rehnus, M.: Der Schneehase in den Alpen. Ein Überlebenskünstler mit ungewisser Zukunft, Haupt Verlag, Bern 2013, ISBN 978-3-258-07846-5, p. 21
  7. ^ a b "Mountain Hare". ARKive. Archived from the original on 2010-03-28. Retrieved January 28, 2010.
  8. ^ a b Macdonald, D.W.; Barrett , P. (1993). Mammals of Europe. New Jersey: Princeton University Press. ISBN 978-0-691-09160-0.
  9. ^ Rehnus, M., Wehrle, M., Palme, R. (2013). "Mountain hares Lepus timidus and tourism: stress events and reactions." Journal of Applied Ecology 50(1):6-12. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/1365-2664.12174/abstract
  10. ^ https://theferret.scot/outrage-mass-killing-mountain-hares/ Outrage over mass killing of mountain hares, The Ferret, Rob Edwards, 14 March 2016
  11. ^ https://theferret.scot/38000-mountain-hares-killed/ Nearly 38,000 mountain hares killed in one season, new data reveals, The Ferret, Billy Briggs, 18 May 2018
A4060 road

The A4060, also known as the East of Abercynon to East of Dowlais Trunk Road, is a trunk road in Wales. The road starts at A470 The Pentrebach Roundabout South of Merthyr Tydfil. This first stretch is a 3 lane single carriageway road that was the old A470. It then comes to a roundabout by the Hoover Plant and The Premier Inn where there are links to Aberfan and Troedyrhiw via the A4054, Merthyr Town Centre via the A4054 (the old A470). The A4060 then leads to another roundabout a few yards up with turn offs to The Triangle Business Park and the Co Op Supermarket. After this roundabout the road becomes a dual carriageway with quite a steep Hill Climb. After about 3 miles there is another roundabout which has links to Mountain Hare and Dowlais Ind Est and the A4102. The other link is a Mountain Road to Cwm Bargoed and Fochriw.

After the Roundabout the dual carriageway continues to Dowlais Top where there are links to Dowlais via the A4102, Neath (Brecon A470) via the A465, Abergavenny via the A465 and Fochriw and ASDA Supermarket

Before the new A470 dual carriageway was built between Cefn Coed Y Cymmer and Pentrebach the A4060 was a main alternative route for people coming from the North (Brecon A470) and the West (Neath) via the A465 to avoid traffic hold ups in Merthyr Tydfil town centre.

Alaskan hare

The Alaskan hare (Lepus othus), also known as the tundra hare, is a species of mammal in the family Leporidae. They do not dig burrows and are found in the open tundra of western Alaska and the Alaska Peninsula in the United States. They are solitary for most of the year except during mating season, when they produce a single litter of up to eight young. Predators include birds of prey and polar bears, as well as humans for sport hunting.

Beinn an Tuirc windfarm

Beinn an Tuirc wind farm is a wind farm in Argyll, Scotland.

The site has 46 turbines with a total generating capacity of 30.36 MW, with each unit being a Vestas V47-660, with each turbine producing 660 kW, and is operated by Scottish Power. It was commissioned in 2001 and started operation in 2002. It cost £21 million to build. The turbines were built by Danish company Vestas, which specializes in their manufacture. It is 10 miles (16 kilometres) north of Campbeltown on the slopes of the Beinn an Tuirc, the highest hill on the Kintyre peninsula.Scottish Power was awarded a Queen's Award for Enterprise in 2006 for constructing Beinn an Tuirc and Black Law wind farms with a "collaborative and responsible approach". This referred to the company's practice of taking into account environmental concerns and the wishes of the local community in the wind farms' construction.One of the V47 turbines suffered a catastrophic failure in November 2007 when a brake problem led to the tower being bent in two. This was the first incident of an operational turbine tower collapsing in the UK. The farm was closed as a precaution, but soon reopened.

In an unusual move, Scottish Power has offered local rangers £30 for every mountain hare they hand over. The idea is to re-introduce this species to an area near to the wind farm in an attempt to lure golden eagles away from the turbines. The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds said, "Scottish Power's approach in creating this habitat that takes into account local biodiversity is to be welcomed."

Brynna

Brynna (Welsh: Brynnau) is a small village situated between Pencoed and Llanharan. It is located at the point where the borders of two Welsh county boroughs, Rhondda Cynon Taf and Bridgend, meet.

Due to Brynna's proximity to the M4 motorway as well as both Pencoed and Llanharan railway stations, it offers residents easy access to most of South Wales.

Brynna was originally called Brynna Gwynion but church records show that it was later shortened to Brynna from 1897 onwards.

Cairngorms

The Cairngorms (Scottish Gaelic: Am Monadh Ruadh) are a mountain range in the eastern Highlands of Scotland closely associated with the mountain of the Cairn Gorm. The Cairngorms became part of Scotland's second national park (the Cairngorms National Park) on 1 September 2003. Although the Cairngorms give their name to, and are at the heart of, the Cairngorms National Park, they only form one part of the national park, alongside other hill ranges such as the Angus Glens and the Monadhliath, and lower areas like Strathspey. The Cairngorms consists of high plateaux at about 1000–1200 m above sea level, above which domed summits (the eroded stumps of once much higher mountains ) rise to around 1300 m. Many of the summits have tors, free-standing rock outcrops that stand on top of the boulder-strewn landscape. The edges of the plateaux are in places steep cliffs of granite and they are excellent for skiing, rock climbing and ice climbing.

The Cairngorms form an arctic-alpine mountain environment, with tundra-like characteristics and long-lasting snow patches. This area is home to bird species such as ptarmigan, dotterel, snow bunting, curlew and red grouse, as well as mammals such as mountain hare. The plateaux also support Britain's only herd of reindeer. Surrounding the central massif are many remnants of the Caledonian forest in the valleys of the Rivers Spey and Dee. These forests support many species that are rare elsewhere in Britain, including red squirrels, pine marten, wood ants, Scottish crossbill, capercaillie and crested tit.There are no glaciers but snow can fall in any month of the year and snow patches usually persist all summer; for snow and ice climbing the area is the most dependable in Britain. The mountains are also popular for hill-walking, ski touring and climbing, and there is a ski centre on the northern side of the range, at Cairngorm Mountain.

The range lies in the Scottish council areas of Aberdeenshire, Moray and Highland, and within the counties of Aberdeenshire, Inverness-shire and Banffshire.

Carex phaeocephala

Carex phaeocephala is a species of sedge known by the common name dunhead sedge.

Dainava Forest

The Dainava Forest (Lithuanian: Dainavos giria) is the largest forest in Lithuania. Located in Dzūkija region (also known as Dainava) in southern Lithuania, it covers the total area of 1,450 km2 (560 sq mi) of which 1,145 km2 (442 sq mi) is covered by trees. A large part of the forest is protected by the Dzūkija National Park.

The Dainava Forest mainly consists of pine trees. There are some birch, spruce, black alder groves. Soils are sandy, light, densely covered by cup lichen. The forest is rich in edible mushrooms, billberries, cranberries, and cowberries. Collection of these mushrooms and berries are an important part of the local economy. The fauna includes many endangered species, such as the gray wolf, wood grouse, black grouse, hoopoe, Eurasian eagle-owl, osprey, mountain hare, stoat, Coronella austriaca, great capricorn beetle, and Lucanus cervus.

Most rivers belong to the basin of Merkys River, including the Ūla, Katra, Grūda, Varėnė, and Skroblus. These rivers are characterized by their clear, cold water, and numerous tributaries. Also, there are some tiny thermokarst lakes and bogs, including Čepkeliai Marsh, the largest bog in Lithuania.

Dainava Forest is the most sparsely populated region of Lithuania. Some of the villages were little affected by agricultural reforms and have preserved traditional folk architecture, which is now preserved as monuments. These villages include Marcinkonys, Zervynos, Latežeris, Lynežeris, Perloja, Musteika.

European rabbit

The European rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus) or coney is a species of rabbit native to southwestern Europe (including Spain, Portugal and western France) and to northwest Africa (including Morocco and Algeria). It has been widely introduced elsewhere, often with devastating effects on local biodiversity. However, its decline in its native range (caused by the diseases myxomatosis and rabbit calicivirus, as well as overhunting and habitat loss), has caused the decline of its highly dependent predators, the Iberian lynx and the Spanish imperial eagle. It is known as an invasive species because it has been introduced to countries on all continents with the exception of Antarctica, and has caused many problems within the environment and ecosystems. Feral European rabbits in Australia have had a devastating impact, due in part to the lack of natural predators there.

The European rabbit is well known for digging networks of burrows, called warrens, where it spends most of its time when not feeding. Unlike the related hares (Lepus spp.), rabbits are altricial, the young being born blind and furless, in a fur-lined nest in the warren, and they are totally dependent upon their mother. Much of the modern research into wild rabbit behaviour was carried out in the 1960s by two research centres. One was the naturalist Ronald Lockley, who maintained a number of large enclosures for wild rabbit colonies, with observation facilities, in Orielton, Pembrokeshire. Apart from publishing a number of scientific papers, he popularised his findings in a book The Private Life of the Rabbit, which is credited by Richard Adams as having played a key role in his gaining "a knowledge of rabbits and their ways" that informed his novel Watership Down. The other group was the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) in Australia, where numerous studies of the social behavior of wild rabbits were performed. Since the onset of myxomatosis, and the decline of the significance of the rabbit as an agricultural pest, few large-scale studies have been performed and many aspects of rabbit behaviour are still poorly understood.

Game (hunting)

Game or quarry is any animal hunted for sport or for food, and the meat of those animals. The type and range of animals hunted for food varies in different parts of the world.

Gansu pika

The Gansu pika (Ochotona cansus) is a species of mammal in the pika family, Ochotonidae. It is endemic to China.

Hainan hare

The Hainan hare (Lepus hainanus) is a species of hare endemic to Hainan Island, China.

Hare

Hares and jackrabbits are leporids belonging to the genus Lepus. Hares are classified in the same family as rabbits. They are similar in size and form to rabbits and have similar herbivorous diets, but generally have longer ears and live solitarily or in pairs. Also unlike rabbits, their young are able to fend for themselves shortly after birth (precocial) rather than emerging blind and helpless (altricial). Most are fast runners. Hare species are native to Africa, Eurasia, North America, and the Japanese archipelago.

Five leporid species with "hare" in their common names are not considered true hares: the hispid hare (Caprolagus hispidus), and four species known as red rock hares (comprising Pronolagus). Conversely, jackrabbits are hares, rather than rabbits.

A hare less than one year old is called a leveret. A group of hares is called a "drove".

Korean hare

The Korean hare (Lepus coreanus) is a species of hare found in the Korean Peninsula and adjoining parts of northeastern China. An adult Korean hare weighs 2.1–2.6 kilograms, and has a body length of 45–54 centimetres. The tail is typically 2–5 cm in length, and the ears are 7.6–8.3 cm long. The Korean hare inhabits diverse habitats within its range, from remote mountain forests to cultivated land. Fur colour varies slightly among individuals, but is generally some shade of liver brown.

Koslov's pika

Koslov's pika or Kozlov's pika (Ochotona koslowi) is a species of mammal in the family Ochotonidae. It is endemic to China. Its natural habitat is tundra. It is threatened by habitat loss.

Leporidae

Leporidae is the family of rabbits and hares, containing over 60 species of extant mammals in all. The Latin word Leporidae means "those that resemble lepus" (hare). Together with the pikas, the Leporidae constitute the mammalian order Lagomorpha. Leporidae differ from pikas in that they have short, furry tails and elongated ears and hind legs.

The common name "rabbit" usually applies to all genera in the family except Lepus, while members of Lepus (almost half the species) usually are called hares. Like most common names however, the distinction does not match current taxonomy completely; jackrabbits are members of Lepus, and members of the genera Pronolagus and Caprolagus sometimes are called hares.

Various countries across all continents except Antarctica and Australia have indigenous species of Leporidae. Furthermore, rabbits, most significantly the European rabbit, Oryctolagus cuniculus, also have been introduced to most of Oceania and to many other islands, where they pose serious ecological and commercial threats.

List of fauna of the Scottish Highlands

This is a list of fauna of the Scottish Highlands.

List of mammals of Norway

List of mammals with non-domesticated populations in Norway.

Medelpad

Medelpad (Listen ) is a historical province or landskap in the north of Sweden. It borders Hälsingland, Härjedalen, Jämtland, Ångermanland and the Gulf of Bothnia.

The province is a part of Norrland and as such considered to be Northern Sweden, although the province geographically is located in the middle of Sweden. It is a common misconception that the name "Medelpad" ("middle land" or "middle ground") reflects this, but the name actually refers to the fact that most of the province lies between its two rivers Ljungan and Indalsälven.

Ozark Highlands Trail

The Ozark Highlands Trail roams 218 miles (351 km) through parts of seven counties in northwest Arkansas. It stretches from Lake Fort Smith State Park, across the Ozark National Forest, to the Buffalo National River. The trail passes through some of the most remote and scenic portions of the Ozark Mountains, like the Hurricane Creek Wilderness Area. It also crosses White Rock Mountain, Hare Mountain, the Marinoni Scenic Area, and many other breathtaking spots.

There are long term plans to connect the similarly named Ozark Trail in Missouri to the Ozark Highlands Trail in Arkansas, resulting in over 700 miles (1,100 km) of continuous trails through the Ozarks. The proposed route initially passed through 14 miles of wilderness area in the Buffalo National River park, and the National Park Service initially supported this route. However, they have since vetoed this proposed route.

Extant Lagomorpha species

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