Throughout September and October, reports were coming in of sightings of obviously sick or dead hares. This led to a series of articles in the press about the issue and a call for records to be submitted to help understand how widespread the issue might be.
For example the Eastern Daily Press and the Guardian both covered the worrying news.
Research is being led by Dr Diana Bell of the UEA, who has been studying the impacts of diseases on rabbit populations, including myxomatosis and strains of hemorrhagic disease. Dr Bell and the Suffolk Wildlife Trust has asked for people to send photographs of any dead or diseased hare bodies along with the exact location.
We are lucky in East Anglia to be home to a good population of brown hares and the sight of them is commonplace. They are larger than rabbits, with longer back legs and distinctive black tips to their ears. But brown hares have decline by over 80% in the past 100 years, with reasons such as agricultural intensification and persecution being key factors.
The reports of disease is concerning and there is a need to understand what is happening. If you have seen a sick or dead hare, you can help by sending a photograph (including head and bottom!) to Dr Bell at the UEAemail@example.com .
Alternatively feel free to call us on 07496 255050 or email us on firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like an informal chat about brown hares.
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This is intended to host my articles on ecology, news about what I am up to, and general musings or ramblings about things that concern me....