Animals Native to the UK

Red squirrel populations have drastically decreased throughout the UK in recent years.
Red squirrel populations have drastically decreased throughout the UK in recent years.

Native animals are sometimes referred to as indigenous animals. Native animals are described as the type of creatures that have existed in a particular place over a given period. Native animals of Britain are defined as those animals that either colonized the British islands during the ice age or those species that were found in Britain when the English Channel was being created. Below is a brief description of some of the native animals found in the United Kingdom.

10. Common Shrew

As their name suggests, the common shrew in the United Kingdom is one of the most common native animals found in this region. Common shrews are described as being tricolored, i.e., their back is dark brown with the sides being slightly pale brown and the underneath of this species being whitish. The Common shrews are not easily seen as they spend most of their entire lifetime below the leaf litter. Although the common shrew is active both during the day and night, this species is most active at night. They are known to live in solitary and defend their territories very aggressively. The common shrews commonly feed on insects, beetles, and grasshoppers.

9. Red Squirrel

The red squirrel is a native animal of the UK and is characterized by its conspicuous red fur. When compared to the American grey squirrel, the red squirrel is smaller with a slightly narrower body. Its tufted ears and the presence of a twitching tail also characterize the red squirrel. It is important to note that not all red squirrels contain a red fur as their name suggests, some of the red squirrels may have a grey fur. The red squirrels are omnivores in nature feeding on a wide range of foods including seeds, insects, fungi, fruits, and eggs of birds.

8. Curlew

Curlew is a bird native to the United Kingdom. This bird is the largest wading bird found in Europe. The curlew is mostly seen during the summer fells and winter estuaries. Its long bill that is curved downwards characterizes this bird. Since curlew is a wading bird, this species is known to feed entirely on worms, shrimps, and shellfish.

7. Little Owl

The little owl is a native animal of the United Kingdom, and it was introduced in this region in the 19th century. This animal can easily be observed during the day as it rests on tree branches or rocks. This species is known to mostly feed on beetles, worms, birds and other small mammals. There are concerns that the number of these species in the United Kingdom is significantly declining and if breeding is not correctly done, the little owl may become extinct.

6. Orkney Vole

As its name suggests, this species is mostly found in the Orkney Islands of the United Kingdom. The Orkney vole is described as a native animal of the United Kingdom because it is believed to have arrived at the Orkney Islands approximately 5,000 years ago and have remained in these islands since then despite having numerous predators. The Orkney vole is prone to multiple predators because it is light; airborne animals mostly prey them. This animal is known to live for a maximum of two years only. The diet of the Orkney vole is mainly composed of things that contain high amounts of nitrogen; this species is, therefore, known to feed on leaves, roots, and stems of plants.

5. Scottish Wildcat

The Scottish wildcats are the only remaining largest wild predators found in the United Kingdom. The Scottish wildcats are solitary animals and seem to live together only during the mating season. This species is described as being an excellent predator as it is fearless, intelligent and mighty. They are known to have existed in Britain long before the arrival of humankind and the domestic cat. The Scottish wildcat feeds mostly on rabbits and voles.

4. Grey Seal

The grey seal is a native animal of Britain, and it is mostly found on the British coast. The grey seal is most famous in the United Kingdom as they are largest breeding mammals found in this region. At birth, the grey seal is said to weigh approximately 14 kilograms. These mammals are unique in that the mother and the pup grey seals develop a strong bond as from birth and the mothers are capable of recognizing their pup by their scent and call. The grey seal live in murky waters and are capable of locating their prey thanks to their large eyes. Their ears are also highly sensitive which allows them to detect their prey quickly. The grey scales are mostly found in the northeast Atlantic Ocean and mostly live in the calm waters of this ocean and the rocky shores.

3. Wood Mouse

The wood mouse is a small random that is characterized by a brown fur, protruding eyes, a long tail and huge eyes. The wood mouse is an indigenous animal of the United Kingdom, and it is mostly found throughout the Isles of British and on other smaller islands. This species is known to feed on green plant seeds and fruits primarily. The wood mouse mostly lives in underground burrows as they are continually being preyed by foxes, weasels, and domestic cats.

2. European Hedgehog

The European Hedgehogs are the only spiky animals found in the United Kingdom. This animal has a perfect sense of smell and hearing but lacks good eyesight. The European Hedgehogs are known to hibernate during winter and become active during summer. They are found in the woodland and the suburban areas all over Europe. The European Hedgehogs are omnivores with their diet mostly comprising of worms, insects, slugs, frogs, birds, and rodents.

1. Fin Whale

Fin whales are found existing on all the major oceans and seas and are described as the second largest whales after the blue whales. The fin whales classified as native animals of the United Kingdom because they have existed in the North Pacific Ocean for millions of years. The fin whales have been found on most beaches of the United Kingdom occasionally; for instance, in 2016, four fin whales were spotted stranded on some beaches in United Kingdom.


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