Animals in Great Britain • Animals in Great Britain can be split in to two categories; domestic and wild. • There is a large variety of wild animals in the UK because of the varied landscape. • Most of them are small animals and like many islands there are a lot of different bird species. • In Great Britain there are no really dangerous animals.
Domestic Animals • More than 50% of British families have a pet. • The most common pets in Britain are dogs, cats, goldfish, rabbits, hamsters, guinea pigs and budgies. • It is estimated that 7.7 million cats, 6.6 million dogs and 18 million goldfish are kept as pets in Great Britain. • Some people now keep exotic pets like snakes, lizards and spiders.
Wild Animals • Great Britain has many varieties of mammals, amphibians, reptiles, birds and insects. • Many of Britain’s animal species are not native and have been introduced either purposely or accidentally. • Rabbits were not native to Great Britain but were introduced when the Normans conquered. • Grey Squirrels were also not native and were introduced from America. This is however bad because they have taken over the habitats of Britain’s native red squirrels.
Mammals • England doesn't have many large mammals and is mainly populated by smaller mammals. • The largest land animals and mammals in Britain are deer species. • The Red Deer is Britain’s largest land mammal and found in a few areas such as the Lake District and Exmoor. • Other smaller species of deer can also be found in Britain.
Other common mammals are hedgehogs, moles, shrews, bats, badgers, rats and mice. • Some mammals such as foxes and rats are increasingly urban and now always found in large cities away from their natural habitat. • Britain also has some endangered mammals such as dormice, voles and the Exmoor and Dartmoor ponies. • There are now only 800 Exmoor ponies left and the Dartmoor breed is decreasing.
Sea Animals • As Britain is an island it has many coastal waters. • In these waters live a variety of sea mammals. • These include dolphins, whales and seals. • The coast of Cornwall is often visited by Basking Sharks. • Although it is a huge fish, the Basking Shark is a harmless shark which eats algae.
Amphibians • Britain doesn’t have many amphibian species. • It has varieties of newts, toads and frogs. • The species of amphibian that are most common in Britain are the Great Crested Newt, Smooth Newt, Palmate Newt, Common Toad, Natterjack Toad, Common Frog and the Pool Frog.
Reptiles • In Britain you can find snakes, lizards, turtles and terrapins. • Britain only has one poisonous snake which is the Adder. It is not very dangerous. • Many lizards have been introduced to Britain from other countries such as the Wall Lizard and Green Lizard. • Terrapins have also been introduced. • Turtles are increasingly seen in British seas due to global warming.
Birds • Britain has nearly 600 bird species and bird-watching is a very popular past time. • Some of the most common are species of swans and ducks and sparrows and blackbirds. • Some which are less common are herons, storks, eagles, falcons, kestrels, owls and cuckoos. • It is illegal to kill swans in Great Britain as they are owned by the Queen.
Insects • Britain has many insect varieties but none of these are poisonous. The most harmful are wasps and bees which can sting. • There are many species of butterflies and moths in Britain although many are now endangered. • There also many crickets and grasshoppers.