Belfast Telegraph

Editor's Viewpoint: Hare-raising issue

First of all it was competition from their European cousins that was threatening the future of the Irish hare.

European hares can outbreed the native species. Now another threat has been discovered in the shape of modern farming. Silage cutting is literally decimating the local population, coming as it does while leverets are still hiding in the long grass.

Now scientists want farmers to be rewarded for delaying harvesting until the leverets have moved on or to mow the grass from the centre of the field outwards to allow the hares to escape more easily. Otherwise, with only 27,400 left, it could be a case of hare today, gone tomorrow.

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