Hedgehogs and other Mammals
Mammals are an important part of the United Kingdom's biodiversity, with over 90 species present in the region. From tiny shrews to majestic deer, mammals can be found in every corner of the UK, in various habitats ranging from the countryside to urban areas.
One of the most iconic mammals in the UK is the hedgehog. These small, nocturnal creatures are known for their distinctive spines, which provide them with protection against predators. Hedgehogs are found in a variety of habitats, including gardens, parks, and hedgerows, and they feed on a variety of insects, slugs, and snails.
The UK is also home to several species of small rodents, including the common shrew, the bank vole, and the wood mouse. These animals play important roles in their respective ecosystems, serving as prey for larger animals and helping to disperse seeds and other plant material.
Squirrels are a common sight in the UK, with two species present in the country: the native red squirrel and the introduced grey squirrel. Red squirrels are found mainly in Scotland and northern England, while grey squirrels are more widespread. Grey squirrels were introduced to the UK in the late 19th century and have since become dominant, outcompeting the native red squirrels for resources and habitat. However, efforts are being made to protect and conserve red squirrels, including through the management of grey squirrel populations. Squirrels are beloved by many in the UK for their playful behavior and acrobatic feats, and they play an important ecological role in seed dispersal and forest regeneration.