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.
Special licences allow protected species in Scotland such as hedgehogs, mountain hares and birds in decline to be killed or disturbed.
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.
The full extent of culling of mountain hares in Scotland has been revealed by The Ferret, with up to 38,000 killed a year.
Scotland’s tourist agency is coming under mounting pressure to cease promoting the shooting of thousands of mountain hares.
Mountain Hares are under threat from lucrative shoots and mass culls according to an animal welfare charity.
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.