“From 1954 to 1999 the mountain hare population on moorland sites decreased by nearly 5% every year, which ecologists attributed to the planting of conifer forests on former grouse moors. But from 1999 to 2017 the scale of the moorland declines increased dramatically to over 30% every year, leading to counts in 2017 of less than 1% of original levels in 1954.
David Noble, chairman of the Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust in Scotland, said data gathered by the GWCT over the same period as the study does not suggest such a decline in hare numbers on grouse moors.
“…we look forward to reviewing it, especially how the counts were made, because assessing hare numbers accurately is challenging.”” https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/aug/14/scotlands-mountain-hare-population-severe-decline
Especially when you’re lucky to see even one.
“Whilst hares can benefit from the intensive management intended for grouse (hare declines were lowest on grouse moors up to 1999) this is only when they are not being culled.” http://ww2.rspb.org.uk/community/ourwork/b/scotland/archive/2018/08/14/catastrophic-declines-of-mountain-hares-what-rspb-scotland-believes-should-happen-next.aspx