Culling wildlife hosts to control disease: mountain hares, red grouse and louping ill virus

  • Published source details Harrison A., Newey S., Gilbert L. & Thirgood S. (2010) Culling wildlife hosts to control disease: mountain hares, red grouse and louping ill virus. Journal of Animal Ecology, 47, 926-930.


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Exclude or control ‘reservoir species’ to reduce parasite burdens

Action Link
Bird Conservation
  1. Exclude or control ‘reservoir species’ to reduce parasite burdens

    A 2010 literature review (Harrison et al. 2010) found ‘no compelling evidence’ that culling mountain hares Lepus timidus (a carrier of the ticks that carry louping ill virus) increased red grouse Lagopus lagopus scoticus populations. The authors note that there is some evidence for an effect of culling on the prevalence of louping ill virus (e.g. in Laureson et al. 2003) but that evidence for population-level effects is uncertain, partly due to a lack of understanding of the population dynamics of both hares and grouse.


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