Track index (tracks/10 km/24 hours) of mountain hares in squares of 50 km x 50 km , recorded in the winter of 2008. Significant changes between 2007 and 2008 are presented in smaller maps.
The track density of mountain hare (Lepus timidus) increased by about half in 2008 compared with 2007, and thus balanced a corresponding decrease in density observed the year before, when comparing the winter densities of 2006 and 2007. Track densities increased in almost all of the country, but the increase was strongest in southern Finland. Only a small area in northeastern Lapland recorded fewer tracks than the year before. Track densities were significantly lower than the 20-year censusing average. During this period, the population has declined most markedly in southern Finland, although a similar trend is not apparent in Lapland populations. The track densities of the European hare have also increased strongly (in some cases, by 60%) from the previous year. In southern and western Finland in particular, the European hare has become more abundant in the past two decades, and based on recorded snow track densities, the population of the European hare is estimated to have doubled or even tripled in this time.
Track index (tracks/10 km/24 h) of the mountain hare in 1989-2008, by game district.