Study

Habitat selection guiding agri-environment schemes for a farmland specialist, the brown hare

  • Published source details Petrovan S.O., Ward A.I. & Wheeler P.M. (2013) Habitat selection guiding agri-environment schemes for a farmland specialist, the brown hare. Animal Conservation, 16, 344-352

Actions

This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Create uncultivated margins around intensive arable or pasture fields

Action Link
Terrestrial Mammal Conservation
  1. Create uncultivated margins around intensive arable or pasture fields

    A site comparison study in 2009–2010 in a mixed farming area in North Yorkshire, UK (Petrovan et al. 2013) found that agri-environment grassy field margins had disproportionately high usage by brown hares Lepus europaeus during both feeding and resting periods, relative to available habitat areas. Hares spent 6.9% of time in grassy field margins during their main activity period and 13.0% during their inactive period, compared to margins covering of 3.5% of the study site. A total length of 10.8 km of grassy margins was established at field edges and along waterways within a 311-ha study area, through agri-environment funding. Margins comprised 2-m-wide strips and 6-m-wide ‘conservation headlands’. They were seeded with a commercial field margin grass mixture, were not sprayed and were cut every two to three years. Fourteen adult hares were radio-tracked, for an average of 186 days each, between July 2009 and August 2010.

    (Summarised by: Nick Littlewood)

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