The white mountain hare in winter surrounded by snow is a classic highland scene. The hare is fast moving, and understandably, like most wildlife, it will not hang about when disturbed. During the winter months when the snow is on the ground, the hare changes colour from brown to white. He has a few names: blue hare, white hare, snow hare and mountain hare.
The white mountain hare in winter is only found high up on the Scottish moors, usually above 2,000ft. He spends much of his time alone but can be seen chasing and boxing in March.
During the winter months, the hare thrive in bitterly cold conditions, and often can be camouflaged by snow and ice. On the coldest days while the blizzards are howling through the glens, hares can be seen settled into the snow covered in a layer of ice. The white mountain hare in the snow is tricky to find but a joy to photograph.
From the BBC news website, June 2020
MSPs have voted to ban the unlicensed culling of mountain hares and make them a protected species. Concerns had been growing about the practice but gamekeepers insist Holyrood has made a “grave mistake” and the move is bad for land management.
Mountain hares are Britain’s only native hare and may have been here since the last ice age.
A report published in 2018 said the number of mountain hares on moorland in the eastern Highlands is at less than 1% of their levels in the 1950s.
The study was published in the Journal of Applied Ecology and found that numbers fell annually by an average of almost 5% until 1999 when the decrease accelerated but its findings were disputed by moorland managers.
More mountain hares have been counted on moorland managed for grouse shoots than unmanaged moorland, gamekeepers and landowner groups claimed last year.
Alex Hogg, chairman of The Scottish Gamekeepers Association, said the Holyrood vote was a “grave mistake”.
He added: “This is a bad law, made by people it will not impact upon.
“The views of the rural working people of the land have been ignored, here. The system has failed them.” Read the full BBC article here.