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This is a list of mammals of Great Britain. The diversity of mammal fauna of Great Britain is somewhat impoverished compared to that of Continental Europe, due to the short period of time between the last ice age and the flooding of the land bridge between Great Britain and the rest of Europe. Only those land species which crossed before the creation of the English Channel and those introduced by humans exist in Great Britain.

Mountain hare in Scotland
Mountain hare in Scotland

Native (usually synonymous with "indigenous") species are considered to be species which are today present in the region in question, and have been continuously present in that region since a certain period of time. When applied to Great Britain, three possible definitions of this time constraint are:

This list includes mammals from the small islands around Great Britain and the Channel Islands. There are no endemic mammal species in Great Britain, although four distinct subspecies of rodents have arisen on small islands.

The following tags are used to highlight the conservation status of each species' British population, as assessed by Natural England and The Mammal Society in a Regional Red List, following the criteria of the International Union for Conservation of Nature. This listing does not cover introduced species, marine species, or vagrants.[1]

EX Extinct No reasonable doubt that the last individual has died.
EW Extinct in the wild Known only to survive in captivity or as a naturalised population well outside its previous range.
CR Critically endangered The species is in imminent risk of extinction in the wild.
EN Endangered The species is facing an extremely high risk of extinction in the wild.
VU Vulnerable The species is facing a high risk of extinction in the wild.
NT Near threatened The species does not meet any of the criteria that would categorise it as risking extinction but it is likely to in the future.
LC Least concern There are no current identifiable risks to the species.
DD Data deficient There is inadequate information to make an assessment of the risks to this species.

Wallabies

Order: Diprotodontia

Though most marsupials make up a great part of the fauna in the Australian region, the red-necked wallaby has been introduced, and feral populations are currently breeding on the island of Inchconnachan on Loch Lomond in Argyll and Bute, Scotland, and on the Isle of Man. Other colonies have existed in Devon, the Peak District, and the Ashdown Forest in East Sussex, and although these are now believed to be locally extinct, occasional sightings continue.[2][3][4]

Family: Macropodidae (kangaroos, wallabies, and kin)

Rodents

Family: Castoridae (beavers)

Family: Cricetidae (voles)

Family: Muridae (rats, mice and relatives)

Family: Gliridae (dormice)

Family: Sciuridae (squirrels)

Rabbits and hares

Superorder: Euarchontoglires Order: Lagomorpha

The lagomorphs comprise two families, Leporidae (hares and rabbits), and Ochotonidae (pikas). Though they can resemble rodents, and were classified as a superfamily in that order until the early 20th century, they have since been considered a separate order. They differ from rodents in a number of physical characteristics, such as having four incisors in the upper jaw rather than two.

Family: Leporidae (hares and rabbits)

Moles, shrews and hedgehogs

European hedgehog
European hedgehog

Superorder: Laurasiatheria Order: Eulipotyphla

The order Eulipotyphla contains insectivorous mammals. The hedgehogs are easily recognised by their spines while gymnures look more like large rats. Shrews and solenodons closely resemble mice while the moles are stout-bodied burrowers.

Family: Talpidae (moles)

Family: Soricidae (shrews)

Family: Erinaceidae (hedgehogs and gymnures)

Bats

Order: Chiroptera

The bats' most distinguishing feature is that their forelimbs are developed as wings, making them the only mammals capable of flight. Bat species account for about 20% of all mammals.

Common pipistrelle bat, Britain's most common species
Common pipistrelle bat, Britain's most common species

Family: Rhinolophidae (horseshoe bats)

Family: Vespertilionidae (common or vesper bats)

Carnivorans

Order: Carnivora

There are over 260 species of carnivorans, the majority of which feed primarily on meat. They have a characteristic skull shape and dentition.

Family: Canidae (dogs)

Family: Mustelidae (weasels and relatives)

Family: Felidae (cats)

Family: Phocidae (seals)

Even-toed ungulates

Order: Artiodactyla

The even-toed ungulates are ungulates whose weight is borne about equally by the third and fourth toes, rather than mostly or entirely by the third as in perissodactyls. There are about 220 artiodactyl species, including many that are of great economic importance to humans.

Red deer stag and hinds
Red deer stag and hinds

Family: Suidae (pigs)

Family: Cervidae (deer)

Whales and dolphins

Order: Cetacea

North Atlantic right whale
Humpback whale diving
Minke whale and a boat in the British water
Minke whale and a boat in the British water
Beluga
Harbour porpoise
Bull killer whale

The infraorder Cetacea includes whales, dolphins and porpoises. They are the mammals most fully adapted to aquatic life with a spindle-shaped nearly hairless body, protected by a thick layer of blubber, and forelimbs and tail modified to provide propulsion underwater.

Locally extinct

See also

References

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