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Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: Impact of predator removal on predator and mountain hare populations in Finland

Published source details

Kauhala K., Helle P., Helle E. & Korhonen J. (1999) Impact of predator removal on predator and mountain hare populations in Finland. Annales Zoologici Fennici, 36, 139-148

This study is summarised as evidence for the intervention(s) shown on the right. The icon shows which synopsis it is relevant to.

Remove or control predators Terrestrial Mammal Conservation

A replicated, paired sites, controlled study in 1993–1998 of boreal forest in three areas in Finland (Kauhala et al. 1999) found that removing predators did not increase numbers of mountain hares Lepus timidus. In two of three areas, mountain hare numbers increased in both predator removal and predator protection sites, with the rate of increase being higher in the predator protection site than the removal site in one of those areas. In the third area, hare numbers declined each year in predator removal sites but increased in two of five years in protection sites. Data are presented as track count indices. In each of three areas, a predator removal and predator protection site were established, ≥5 km apart. Sites each covered 48–116 km2. Predator removal, carried out by hunters during normal hunting seasons, commenced in August 1993, targeting red fox Vulpes vulpes, pine marten Martes martes, stoat Mustela ermine and raccoon dog Nyctereutes procyonoides. Hares were monitored by snow track counts, annually from 15 January to 15 March, in 1993–1998.

(Summarised by Nick Littlewood)