Winter Wonderland? Mountain hares feel more comfortable away from winter tourists

An animal that is rarely seen in the wild is a mountain hare. This animal lives in the higher regions of the Alps. The climate change and winter tourism are threatening the mountain hare’s natural habitat. Researchers at the University of Veterinary Medicine Vienna have found out that mountain hares suffer more stress in areas that are visited by a large number of tourists. This can be life threatening in the cold winter. The Alps (where mountain hare lives) is under threat for various reasons which are the following: climate change and winter tourism. Rising temperatures are forcing the mountain hares to migrate to higher altitudes. The stress can be detected in the hares faces. This stress alters behavior and food intake. The stress leads to increased energy consumption in the mountain hares. This could threaten the reproduction and survival of hares in winter. This article wants forests that are inhabited by mountain hares kept free of tourism infrastructure.
Valerie Macaulay 2015

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