Habitat Use and Food Habits of Brown Hare (Lepus europaeus (Pallas)) in a Woodland

Authors: İdris OĞURLU

Abstract: Objectives of the survey were: to investigate the Brown Hare (Lepus europaeus (Pallas))'s habitat prefences with affecting factors, habitat use in different areas, the progress of the use in a 3-year-period and food habit of hare in Çatacık Forest. Habitat preferences were determined from pellet frequencies by using presence-absence technique on the plots was applied semi-randomly in different altitudes, aspects and slope classes. Hare's uses of the major vegetation associations in the survey area and certain plant species supplying the hare were assessed on the vegetation plots. There was relatively little use of the dense forest stratum (1500-1670 m) while higher frequencies (RU>1.0) were recorded in the areas with high interspersion such as degraded juniper wood (Bar), pine plantations (AS) and crop fields (ZA). Hare used increasingly both plantations and cutting areas (KES) after from the first year. There was a little damage by hare in the plantations in the planting year. Population density increased regularly up to 1400-1500 meters, but declined again on the upper zones. Hare used more often the areas on southern slopes which have inclination of 16-30%. Fluctuation of slope within short distance (

Keywords: Brown Hare, Habitat use, Food habits, Pellet counts, Direct counts.