When to Watch Wildlife

J F M A M J J A S O N D Search
Current wildlife highlights
  What's new on this site
  Wildlife calendar
  Plants and Animals
Wildlife sites
WWW links
Guide Books




PMcS 2006



Britain does not have many large mammals and quite a number of our smaller species are in fact introductions.  Furthermore none are dangerous and many are nocturnal - however they can still be exhilarating to find and watch.  It is perhaps surprising to discover that rabbits were once only to be found in farmed warrens and were cosseted as it was felt that they would not survive in the wild.  Of course, as everyone knows, they breed prolifically and only the introduction of a fatal disease (myxomatosis) has had significant affects of the total population.  Rabbit numbers are now again high.

Latin name Common name Distribution Habitat
Erinaceus europaeus Hedgehog Widespread and abundant Farmland and urban
Talpa europaeus  Mole Widespread and abundant All types of habitats except high moors and mountains
Neomys fodiens
Water shrew
Locally common
Sometimes associated with water in farmland, woodland and hedgerows
Sorex araneus
Common shrew
Widespread and common
Farmland, woodland and hedgerows
Sorex minutus
Pygmy shrew
Widespread and common
Farmland, moors and forests
Sorex coronatus French shrew Found on Jersey only
Rhinolophus ferrumequinum
Greater Horseshoe Bat
SW England and S Wales. Very rare and endangered
Rhinolophus hipposideros Lesser Horseshoe Bat W'spread in SW England and S Wales. Rare and endangered  
Barbastella barbastellus

Western barbastelle
Widespread in England and Wales, but rare
Eptesicus serotinus
Widespread in S Britain
Myotis bechsteini
Bechstein's bat
Central S England. Very rare
Myotis brandti
Brandt's bat
Common in W and N England, rare or absent elsewhere
Myotis daubentoni
Daubenton's bat
Common throughout much of Britain
Commonly hunts over water
Myotis myotis
Mouse-eared bat
Formerly S English coast. Now extinct
Myotis mystacinus
Whiskered bat
Local. Probably throughout England and Wales
Myotis nattereri
Natterer's bat
Fairly common throughout much of Britain
Nyctalus leisleri
Leisler's bat (Lesser noctule)
Widespread but scarce in central Britain
Nyctalus noctula
Noctule bat
Widespread in England and Wales. Generally uncommon  
Pipistrellus nathusii
Nathusius's pipistrelle
Migrant winter visitor  
Pipistrellus pipistrellus
Common pipistrelle
Common throughout most of the British Isles  
Plecotus auritus
Brown long-eared bat
Widespread and common  
Plecotus austriacus Grey long-eared bat Devon, Dorset, Hampshire and Somerset. Very rare
Sciurus vulgaris Red Squirrel Locally common in Scotland. Generally extinct elsewhere Extensive woodlands
Sciurus carolinensis Grey squirrel Widespread and common in England and Wales, and across central Scotland. Woodlands, urban, and parklands
Arvicola terrestris
European water vole
Mainland Britain. Locally common, but declining
Clethrionomys glareolus
Bank vole
Very common throughout most of Britain Rivers and lakes
Microtus agrestis
Field vole
Widespread in mainland Britain. Locally common  
Microtus arvalis
Common vole
Orkney and Guernsey only. Common
Apodemus flavicollis
Yellow-necked mouse
Mainly E and S England, and Wales. Locally common
Apodemus sylvaticus
Wood mouse
Widespread and very common
Micromys minutus Harvest mouse England and parts of Wales. Declining rapidly
Muscardinus avellanarius Hazel Dormouse Widespread but local and declining
Lepus europaeus
Brown Hare
Widespread and common, but declining
Lepus timidus Mountain (Arctic) Hare Scotland, especially the Highlands. Locally common
Felis sylvestris Wildcat Uncommon, but increasing
Vulpes vulpes Red Fox Very widespread. Common and increasing
Lutra lutra
W and SW England, and Scotland. Local but increasing Rivers and estuaries
Martes martes
Pine Marten
Locally common in parts of Scotland. Very rare elsewhere
Meles meles
Widespread and generally common, especially in the south  
Mustela erminea
Common throughout Britain, but possibly declining  
Mustela nivalis
Widespread and common throughout Britain  
Mustela putorius Polecat Wales and central Britain. Locally common  
Capreolus capreolus Roe Deer Scotland and England, especially the north and south  
Cervus elaphus Red Deer Scotland and England, especially East Anglia and the SW  
Halichoerus grypus
Grey Seal
Coasts of Scotland and SW England. Locally common
Phoca vitulina Common Seal Coasts of Scotland and E England. Locally common  



All images and text are copyright PMcS 2006