“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
“Decades of persecution by gamekeepers meeting their landowners’ desires for grouse or pheasant conservation for hunts, meant that by 1914 wildcats had been wiped out across the British and Irish Isles in all but the North and West of Scotland.
When the landowners and gamekeepers went off to fight in the First World War it gave the wildcats a break and they began to expand back into the rest of Scotland.” (http://www.theecologist.org/News/news_analysis/2986566/saving_scotlands_highland_tiger.html)
Has government considered allowing game shooters to fight terrorists? This would be much more fun for them and give our wildlife a break. Win:win.