A sudden decline of the European brown hare (Lepus europaeus) population in one of the best hunting districts for small game species in northern Germany, the German North-Sea island Pellworm, in the years 2007/08 following marked habitat changes led to the implementation of a thorough health assessment program of the population. 110 animals were collected during the normal hunting season in the years 2010 and 2011. A post-mortem examination and histopathological investigation was performed on all animals. Additionally, routine bacteriology of the small intestine and parasitology were carried out. Sera of hares were tested for European Brown Hare Syndrome (EBHS) by enzyme linked immunosorbent assay, and for Treponema sp. by indirect immunofluorescent test. Additional testing was performed when deemed necessary.
Animals Blood Chemical Analysis/veterinary Germany Hares/microbiology Hares/parasitology Hares/physiology* Health Status* Islands Population Dynamics