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Title of the project

Understanding of the population dynamics of a European Hare population


The aims of the project were:
– to map the age structure, sex ratio and reproduction of hares in the western part of West-Vlaanderen
– to obtain some evidence about possible reasons of decline of the autumn population of the European hare in the region

The hunters, grouped in Wildlife Management Units were involved in:
– the sampling: delivering a number of shot hares each year
– the execution of the transect counts
– the steering committee: formulating research questions, reviewing and discussion of the results, orientation of the research
– in the financing of the project

Hubertus Vereniging Vlaanderen (the Flemmisch Hunting Association) was responsable for:
– coordination of the research
– the sampling and labo analysis
– the data analysis
– writing the reports, reporting to the steering committee


Main findings:- both reproduction and survival are different from year to year and place to place- reproduction of hares in West-Vlaanderen is low compared to other scientific literature from across Europe


Country Belgium
Level Local
Site The project was executed in 3 Wildlife Management Units, all localised in the western part of West-Vlaanderen.
Province(s) West-Vlaanderen
Region Flanders (Vlaanderen)

Starting date


Habitat Types



Species Caracteristics Huntable species
Species Type Mammals
Name(s) of main species European hare (Lepus europaeus)

Conservation action(s)

Research and data collection (e.g. monitoring, bag data)


Leading partners Leading partner: Hubertus Vereniging Vlaanderen (HVV)www.hvv.be
Other partners Wildlife Management Unit Westhoek (WBE Westhoek)Wildlife Management Unit Ieperlee (WBE Ieperlee)Wildlife Management Unit De Yzervalleien (WBE De Yzervalleien)Agentschap voor Natuur en Bos (ANB) - www.natuurenbos.beInstituut voor Natuur- en Bosonderzoek (INBO) - www.inbo.be

Estimation of the budget (total or annual)

Total expected cost: 28 600 €Total contribution by hunters: around 50 %

Estimation of Human Resources needed

The number of hunters participating was different each year. 3 Wildlife Management Units participated to the project


Reports of 2011 and 2012 are already available (kenniscentrum@hvv.be; in Dutch)A thesis document is available for years 2010 and 2013: Villers V. (2014). Populatiedynamiek van haas (Lepus europaeus) in West-Vlaanderen: studie naar de drijvende factoren achter de populatietrend. Non-publicised thesis VIVES, pp 169.Wouters J. (2011). Populatiedynamiek van de Europese haas (Lepus europaeus). Non-publicised thesis Katholieke Hogeschool Kempen, pp. 73.A power point presentation was made and presented on the IUGB-congress in 2013 (kenniscentrum@hvv.be; in English)Kathleen Vanhuyse, Dorien Degreef, Gert Michiels, Michaël Vanbriel, Johannes Mertens. Population dynamics of the European hare (Lepus europaeus) in two contrasting regions in Flanders. Power Point Presentation