Brown Hares - do they prefer organic or conventionally-managed farmland?

A survey was conducted in three areas of Gloucestershire and Wiltshire to assess hare populations on different types of farmland. The results were unexpected.

Numbers of hares in the UK have been declining since the 1960s. It has been assumed that this is due to the intensification of agriculture and predation and a review of the literature might suggest that organic farms would be more attractive to hares. Surveys of three areas using nocturnal spotlight counting methods and three separate visits showed that there was no statistical difference in hare densities between organic and conventionally managed land.

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