It's National Mammal Week! This event is organised by the Mammal Society to celebrate mammals and raise awareness of the issues they face in Great Britain. You can find out more here.
As many people reading this blog will know, we used to have a pet rabbit (Anya) so I am particularly happy to see that today has been chosen by the Mammal Society as Rabbit and Hare Thursday.
Although rabbits are a very common sight in Scotland they are not native, they were introduced here by the Romans (though stories vary about exactly when and how they were introduced). They have become naturalised and are an important prey species for many mammals and birds of prey. They seem to be less common at the moment than they were a few years ago, we certainly don't see as many rabbits in and around Edinburgh as we used to.
The brown hare was introduced to the country at about the same time as the rabbit. This means that only the mountain hare is native to the British Isles. This is a beautiful animal but is culled regularly because it conflicts with grouse moor management, this is totally unacceptable and unneccessary. Read more about the appalling mountain hare cull here.
And here's a photo of Anya, resting on her favourite rug - she was a very beautiful rabbit!