Hares in East Anglia. Possible Disease Outbreak

#1
Anyone out and about in Norfolk or Suffolk might see brown hares in the landscape. The University of East Anglia have gone public in the media about epidemic hare deaths this autumn. They are talking about Myxomatosis and or Rabbit Haemorrhagic Disease 2 possibly having spread from rabbits.

The brown hare is I believe an iconic species which, although rare in Great Britain, has traditionally found a stronghold in East Anglia. Its loss would be another small disaster to our countryside. Various organisations are asking for reports of dead animals, including RSPCA, Suffolk Wildlife Trust and University of East Anglia.

The most useful action that you might take is here: Have you seen a sick or dead hare? Please send a photograph of the hare (including its head and bottom), and details of its location, to Dr Bell by emailing d.bell@uea.ac.uk.

UEA researchers to investigate mysterious hare deaths - News - UEA
 
#2
The population of Hares has collapsed here in the Southwest without disease, less arable farming and more recently a marked increase in the Fox population has pretty much done for them. I will keep my eyes open though, thanks for the link.
 
#3
Haven't seen a hare in my part of Dorset since I returned here six years ago.
Nor a hedgehog for that matter.

More badgers and buzzards than you can shake a stick at though.

Wonder if there is a connection .....
 
#4
We still have a fair number of brown hares here in Perthshire. I’ll keep a lookout when I’m out and about cycling, though I understand it took a couple of years for haemorrhagic disease to reach the rabbit population here, from which it is only now recovering.
 
#5
They said on the radio earlier that it might be a mutation of myxi rather than RHD. If it can mutate to affect hares as well as rabbits, what's next?
 
#8
Anyone out and about in Norfolk or Suffolk might see brown hares in the landscape. The University of East Anglia have gone public in the media about epidemic hare deaths this autumn. They are talking about Myxomatosis and or Rabbit Haemorrhagic Disease 2 possibly having spread from rabbits.

The brown hare is I believe an iconic species which, although rare in Great Britain, has traditionally found a stronghold in East Anglia. Its loss would be another small disaster to our countryside. Various organisations are asking for reports of dead animals, including RSPCA, Suffolk Wildlife Trust and University of East Anglia.

The most useful action that you might take is here: Have you seen a sick or dead hare? Please send a photograph of the hare (including its head and bottom), and details of its location, to Dr Bell by emailing d.bell@uea.ac.uk.

UEA researchers to investigate mysterious hare deaths - News - UEA
Here on the Suffolk/Cambs border we've had a good year for hares and a fellow lurcher-owner in the village was commenting on it the other week. Over the summer we've both had 'hare'-raising on-lead walks where hares repeatedly spring up under the dogs' feet and we've seen 10-20 of them mooching about on a regular 4 mile walk round the fields. There's been noticeably more roadkilled hares lying about too.

I've not seen any dead or sick ones yet but will keep an eye out. I'm wondering if the hare population has hit a high round here this year, hence the spread of disease?

Haven't seen a hare in my part of Dorset since I returned here six years ago.
Nor a hedgehog for that matter.

More badgers and buzzards than you can shake a stick at though.

Wonder if there is a connection .....
Badgers definitely will do for hedgehogs.
 
#9
Here on the Suffolk/Cambs border we've had a good year for hares and a fellow lurcher-owner in the village was commenting on it the other week. Over the summer we've both had 'hare'-raising on-lead walks where hares repeatedly spring up under the dogs' feet and we've seen 10-20 of them mooching about on a regular 4 mile walk round the fields. There's been noticeably more roadkilled hares lying about too.

I've not seen any dead or sick ones yet but will keep an eye out. I'm wondering if the hare population has hit a high round here this year, hence the spread of disease?


Badgers definitely will do for hedgehogs.
That is good news about a healthy population of hares in the Suffolk/ Cambridge area.
Earlier this year, walking the dog with my brother just outside Stockbridge, Hants we spotted a couple in the very low, green, early wheat fields. A real pleasure to watch for a while.
Locally we are more rolling hills, with sheep and cattle more than crops.
Maybe I'm giving badgers and buzzards an unwarranted hard time .
 
#10
I've not seen any dead or sick ones yet but will keep an eye out.
Badgers definitely will do for hedgehogs.
Thanks for that, Britain needs all the lerts we can get.
Hedgehogs, eggs and chicks of all ground nesting birds, feral honey and other bees underground colonies and the list goes on.
 
#11
The population of Hares has collapsed here in the Southwest without disease, less arable farming and more recently a marked increase in the Fox population has pretty much done for them. I will keep my eyes open though, thanks for the link.
In my part of South Glos I haven't seen a hare for over eight years.
I used to see them regularly as a kid.
 
#12
That is good news about a healthy population of hares in the Suffolk/ Cambridge area.
Earlier this year, walking the dog with my brother just outside Stockbridge, Hants we spotted a couple in the very low, green, early wheat fields. A real pleasure to watch for a while.
Locally we are more rolling hills, with sheep and cattle more than crops.
In the spring, I've been lucky enough to walk 200 yards from the house and watch hares boxing. Round here it's something of an 'all you can eat' 24/7 buffet for hares.
Maybe I'm giving badgers and buzzards an unwarranted hard time .
Badgers, nope. They're bastards for ground-nesting birds' eggs, chicks and hedgehogs, and once they find a source they'll keep coming back until they've finished it.

Buzzards are more acceptable as they tend to eat small rodents, worms, insects, frogs, toads and roadkill or otherwise carrion.
 
#14
samain11, lastwalt et al,

Thanks to all the country folk of Arrse who would wish to help.

Bakerlite
 
#15
In the spring, I've been lucky enough to walk 200 yards from the house and watch hares boxing. Round here it's something of an 'all you can eat' 24/7 buffet for hares.

Badgers, nope. They're bastards for ground-nesting birds' eggs, chicks and hedgehogs, and once they find a source they'll keep coming back until they've finished it.

Buzzards are more acceptable as they tend to eat small rodents, worms, insects, frogs, toads and roadkill or otherwise carrion.
I was wondering if buzzards and badgers were a threat to leverets ( now there's a word I haven't used in a very long time) because they don't burrow. Just live above ground and are easier prey as a result.
 
#16
I was wondering if buzzards and badgers were a threat to leverets ( now there's a word I haven't used in a very long time) because they don't burrow. Just live above ground and are easier prey as a result.
Dunno, they'd have to be pretty fast to catch them. Google says badgers can only manage 16-19mph for short periods of time so maybe not?
 
#17
I was wondering if buzzards and badgers were a threat to leverets ( now there's a word I haven't used in a very long time) because they don't burrow. Just live above ground and are easier prey as a result.
Buzzards will take leverets if they can catch them in the open. They also like pheasants. I saw one take a cock bird on a grassy track on Thursday. He did not so much stoop as just land on him talons first.
If a badger came across a very young leveret or one who decided to sit tight, he might have a go but I have not seen this.
 

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