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 following.

Action Category

Remove or control predators

Action Link
Terrestrial Mammal Conservation
  1. Remove or control predators

    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)

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