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MOUNTAIN HARE Lepus timidus

 

Mountain hares have evolved to change colour from brown in the summer months to white in winter.  They are extremely well camouflaged to their surroundings although with reduced snowfall in Scotland mountain hares are exposed to predators if there is insufficient cover.

Can be found high in the Scottish uplands and on Scottish Islands, their thick winter coat provides extra insulation to help them survive the harsh Scottish winters.

A mountain hare’s broad feet act like snowshoes, spreading the animal’s weight over snow. Mountain hares thrive on healthy young heather, so can be abundant on the middle slopes of hills managed as grouse moors.

They are most active at night and rest during the day in scrapes in heather or under gorse bushes. 

Strongholds are in grouse-moor areas such as the hills of Deeside in the Cairngorms.