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Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: Effect of habitat structure and type of farming on European hare (Lepus europaeus) abundance

Published source details

Santilli F. & Galardi L. (2016) Effect of habitat structure and type of farming on European hare (Lepus europaeus) abundance. Hystrix, the Italian Journal of Mammalogy, 27, 1-3


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

Reduce pesticide or fertilizer use Terrestrial Mammal Conservation

A replicated, site comparison study in 2011 on 26 mainly arable farms in Tuscany, Italy (Santilli & Galardi 2016) found that reducing pesticide, herbicide or fertilizer use, by farming organically, did not increase abundances of European hares Lepus europaeus. The density of hares on organic farms (14 hares/km2) was lower than on conventional farms (24 hares/km2). Higher hare density appeared, instead, to be more strongly positively related to increased habitat diversity, including crop diversity. Half of the 26 study farms, average size 6.1 km2, were organic and half were non-organic farms. Organic farms complied with European Union organic farming requirements. Hare density was estimated using spotlight counts from a car, two or three times at each farm, in early March 2011.

(Summarised by Nick Littlewood)