Landowners and farmers are licensed to kill more than 1,300 brown hares every year during the breeding season, prompting accusations that their young will be left to starve to death.
Landowners have been accused of breaching an agreement to end the mass killing of mountain hares in the wake of evidence that hundreds were shot in the Cairngorms last month.
The full extent of culling of mountain hares in Scotland has been revealed by The Ferret, with up to 38,000 killed a year.
Gamekeepers should hide heaps of dead mountain hares in the back of their trucks, a leading Cairngorm park official has said.
Scotland’s tourist agency is coming under mounting pressure to cease promoting the shooting of thousands of mountain hares.
The number of mountain hares in the eastern Highlands has dropped by more than 99 per cent since 1954, according to a new study - prompting calls for urgent action to protect the species.
Mountain Hares are under threat from lucrative shoots and mass culls according to an animal welfare charity.
Special licences allow protected species in Scotland such as hedgehogs, mountain hares and birds in decline to be killed or disturbed.
The dead bodies of deer, foxes, domestic cats, pheasants and even salmon have been found in dumped in pits surrounded by snares.