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Title of the project

Restoration and conservation of wild rabbit and hare


To learn how to better fight a new strain of Viral Hemorrhagic Disease that had recently appeared.

Identify the cause of high mortality, confirm it as a new strain and characterise it.
Educate and train hunters and game managers.
Create a national network of health surveillance and collection of dead or dying animals.
Nationally monitor the populations and incidence of the strain.
Create ideal habitat conditions to increase the chance of development of resistance.
Submission of samples for laboratory study.
Lobbying within the government for technical and financial support

Hunters were educated about the appearance of a new strain of Viral Hemorrhagic Disease.
Hunters mobilised and acted when land managers did not.
Hunters collected the livers of infected animals and submitted them for laboratory testing.
Hunters monitored the populations and collected dead and dying animals.
Hunters invested in improving habitat for rabbits and hares in order to allow them to develop resistance to the virus.


Country Portugal
Level National

Starting date



Species Caracteristics Huntable species, Abundant species
Species Type Mammals
Name(s) of main species Lepus granatensis - Grenada hareOryctolagus cuniculus algirus - European rabbit

Conservation action(s)

Management of habitats and wildlife (e.g. conservation and restoration activities), Research and data collection (e.g. monitoring, bag data), Communication and education (for different target audiences e.g. hunters, the wider public), Policy work (e.g. positioning of hunting organisations, demonstrating conservation actions), Enforcement (e.g. of hunting legislation, codes of conduct)


Leading partners FENCAƇA- Portuguese Federation of Hunting (www.fencaca.pt)
Other partners Research Centre in Biodiversity and Genetic Resources at the University of Porto CIBIO- UP (https://cibio.up.pt/)hunting areas managers and Portuguese hunters.

Estimation of Human Resources needed

100 managers of hunting areas