The Se­cret Life of the Moun­tain Hare

BBC Wildlife Magazine - - Wild At Home -

ANDY HOWARD, SAND­STONE PRESS, £24.99

Not so much a mono­graph as an il­lus­trated love-let­ter to the charis­matic up­land lago­morph, this slen­der but in­ti­mate tome is a pass­port to an aus­terely beau­ti­ful world. Pho­tog­ra­pher Andy Howard’s gor­geous images in­vite you to tra­verse a land of heather-pur­pled moors and stark, snowy moun­tains in­hab­ited by ea­gles, pine martens, foxes and – nat­u­rally – hares in their var­i­ous moods, pos­tures and seasonal cos­tumes.

Blend­ing mem­oir, pho­to­graphic man­ual, field guide and con­ser­va­tion man­i­festo, The Se­cret Life tells the story of Andy’s re­la­tion­ship with moun­tain hares in the Cairn­gorms and Mon­adhliath hills of the Scot­tish High­lands, from his first at­tempt to cap­ture a cow­er­ing in­di­vid­ual on Slochd to his new life as a tour-leader. En route he pro­vides an in­volv­ing over­view of the species’ ecol­ogy, cov­er­ing breed­ing and re­pro­duc­tion, preda­tors and per­se­cu­tion on driven grouse moors, along with that fa­mously mor­ph­ing pelage. Paul Bloom­field Free­lance writer

Moun­tain hare fur morphs three times a year: white to brown in spring; brown to grey in au­tumn; grey to white in win­ter.

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