Date lodged: 11 September 2017
To ask the Scottish Government what reports it has made to the EU Commission in the last 10 years regarding the population status of mountain hares, and what summary conclusions these included regarding the species' health.
Answered by: Roseanna Cunningham 26 September 2017
The Scottish Government is required to report to the European Commission (via the UK Government) under Article 17 of the Habitats Directive on a 6-year basis. The first assessment of the conservation status of mountain hares covered the period 2001–2006 and was submitted in 2007. The second such assessment covered the period 2007–2012 and was submitted in 2013.
Each assessment considered four parameters: range, population, habitat and future prospects. Each parameter was assessed as being in one of the following conditions: favourable; unfavourable-inadequate; unfavourable-bad; or unknown. An overall species assessment of ‘favourable’ requires all four parameters to be assessed as favourable.
In the 2007 Article 17 report, the overall assessment of mountain hares was ‘unfavourable-inadequate’, based on habitat information, with the other parameters being assessed as favourable. In the 2013 Article 17 report, all four parameters were assessed as ‘favourable’.