The German wildlife information system: population densities and development of European Hare (Lepus europaeusPALLAS) during 2003-2005 in Germany

Strauß, Egbert; Grauer, Andreas; Bartel, Martina; Klein, Roland; Wenzelides, Ludger; Greiser, Grit GND; Muchin, Alexander; Nösel, Heike; Winter, Armin

The German Wildlife Information System, founded in 2001, is a long-term monitoring program documenting occurrence, number, and development of game populations throughout Germany. Population numbers are recorded by standardized counting methods in so-called reference areas. The population densities of the European hare are calculated by spotlight strip censuses in the reference areas each spring and autumn all across Germany. From 2002 to 2005, the censuses were carried out by local hunters in 510 to 676 reference areas each year. During these years, the calculated spring densities increased significantly from 11.0 (2002) to 14.5 hares/km2 (2005) nationwide. The overall increase in spring densities was primarily caused by the population rise from spring 2003 to 2004, which correlates with the high net growth rate in 2003. In 2005, the number of counted hares varied between less than 1 and more than 107 hares/km2 in spring and between 0 and more than 170 hares/km2 in autumn. Because of differing landscapes in Germany, three regions were differentiated. In spring 2005, the average population densities (median) in East Germany (5.4 hares/km2) and Southwest Germany (14.6 hares/km2) were significantly lower than in Northwest Germany (23.9 hares/km2). These regional differences had been similarly distinct in former years.

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Strauß, Egbert / Grauer, Andreas / Bartel, Martina / et al: The German wildlife information system: population densities and development of European Hare (Lepus europaeusPALLAS) during 2003-2005 in Germany. 2008.

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