THE first essential condition, in order to increase a stock of game on an estate, is the destruction of vermin. As soon as game begin to increase, vermin will arrive upon the scene, although how and from what quarter they have introduced themselves is among those mysteries in natural history which are as yet unexplained. As bearing somewhat on the subject, it may be mentioned that in a recent visitation of a plague of voles, when these rodents threatened to devastate the pasture-lands in the Border-counties, foreign owls-ofthe short-eared species, which, though an occasional winter visitant to this country, has only on rare occasions been previously known to breed with us in any numbers-eongregated in hundreds in the vole-invested districts and nested in the heather. Whence they came in such numbers must ever remain a mystery; but they suddenly appeared. I have noted a similar coincidence with regard to game. I have introduced hares to an island, where they at first rapidly increased. The eagle and the buzzard soon
made their appearance, and nested on the island, when the hares vanished at an alarming rate. It must therefore be manifest that a fundamental principle in gamepreserving is-keep a sharp eye on the destruction of vermm.