Animals in United Kingdom

Below you can find a complete list of British animals. We currently track 197 animals in United Kingdom and are adding more every day!

The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland called the UK or Britain for short, is a European island nation. It is a chain of large and small islands. Its coasts, forests, hills, and lowlands are home to many unique wild animals.

Keep reading to discover the unique and sometimes rare wildlife of Britain.

United Kingdom Wildlife Summary

Many people around the world have become familiar with Britain’s unique wildlife through popular children’s literature. Beatrix Potter, the author of Peter Rabbit, for example, was born in London. She wrote about the animals she knew – rabbits, ducks, badgers, frogs, hedgehogs, squirrels, moles, mice, foxes, and domestic animals such as pigs, guinea pigs, and cats.

These animals are still iconic among Great Britain’s wildlife. In the past, there were also large mammals roaming the islands. Conservation efforts strive to reintroduce these species and support those that have been in decline for the past century.

The Official National Animal of the United Kingdom

The lion is the national wild animal of the United Kingdom. It symbolizes courage, strength, dignity, and pride. Along with the unicorn, it appears on the royal coat of arms. Interestingly, cave lions lived in the United Kingdom thousands of years ago but have long been extinct.

The bulldog is also one of the United Kingdom’s national animals.

Where to Find the Top Wild Animals in the United Kingdom

Most of the United Kingdom’s favorite animals can be found in parks and backyards across the country. There are also more than 200 National Nature Reserves, nearly 50 zoos, and a number of safari parks.

You can see badgers at a farm called Badger Watch Dorset near the southern coast. Beavers are known in three locations – in the south, River Otter in East Devon; in the north, the Scottish Beaver Trial in Knapdale Forest; and in the east, the River Tray.

The Most Dangerous Animals in the United Kingdom Today

The adder is the only venomous snake in Britain. Other deadly animals include bees, wasps, and hornets (due to anaphylaxis), deer (due to car accidents), and cows – yes, domestic cows – due to stampedes. In fact, the cow is considered the most dangerous animal in the country. The lesser and greater weaver fish also pose a danger to fishermen and swimmers due to their venom.

Endangered Animals in the United Kingdom

A number of once-common animals in Britain are struggling, with sightings becoming rare. Red squirrel populations have been reduced to less than 200,000, largely through competition with and diseases caused by the non-native North American grey squirrel. Warm weather and construction interrupt the hibernation cycles of hedgehogs. The turtle dove has declined by 97 percent since 1970. The sounds of the Natterjack toad have disappeared from many of the islands.

Even insects are endangered. Cicadas are now found only in small areas in Hampshire; since they haven’t been sighted since the year 2000, they may already be extinct. Cosnard’s net-winged beetle is found only in a few small areas, endangered due to a loss of beech trees. Deforestation also threatens the bearded false darkling beetle. The wart-biter cricket is found in just four areas of East Sussex, Wiltshire, and Dorset. The V-moth population has declined by 99 percent since the 1960s.

A number of Britain’s large predators became extinct thousands of years ago. These include cave lions, bears, and wolves. Large herbivorous mammals have also become regionally extinct – beavers, wild boars, bison, and moose.

Today, though, some of these wild animals are being reintroduced to ancient woodlands. Wolverines, lynxes, grey wolves, and European brown bears are exhibited at the Bristol Zoological Society’s Bear Wood. This is part of an ongoing conservation effort known as “rewilding.”

British Animals

Airedale Terrier

Very intelligent, independent and strong-minded!

Alpine Goat

Alpine goats are the most common type of goat used for milk, cheese, and other dairy products

Ant

First evolved 100 million years ago!

Aurochs

Extinct ancestor of all domesticated cattle!

Avocet

Has a curved, upturned beak!

Badger

Can reach speeds of 30 km/h!

Barn Owl

Found everywhere around the world!

Basset Hound

Forget the training when not rewarded!

Bat

Detects prey using echolocation!

Beagle

Have become popular family pets!

Bearded Collie

Weekly brushing is mandatory!

Beaver

Builds a dam from sticks and leaves!

Bedlington Terrier

Highly active and intelligent dogs!

Beetle

There are more than 350,000 different species

Bird

Not all birds are able to fly!

Black Widow Spider

They typically prey on insects!

Border Collie

Highly intelligent and alert breed!

Border Terrier

Small, rough-coated breed of terrier!

Bull Terrier

Needs to be kept active!

Bulldog

Friendly, loving and docile!

Bullmastiff

Courageous, loyal and calm!

Bumblebee

The most common species of bee!

Butterfly

There are thought to be up 20,000 species!

Cairn Terrier

Intelligent, lively and strong!

Camel Cricket

The camel crickets that are found in the USA are light brown in color. They also have dark streaks all over their body.

Cat

First domesticated by the Ancient Egyptians!

Caterpillar

The larvae of a moth or butterfly!

Catfish

There are nearly 3,000 different species!

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

Highly playful and affectionate!

Centipede

There are about 3,000 documented species!

Chamois

Natively found in the European mountains!

Chicken

First domesticated more than 10,000 years ago!

Clumber Spaniel

Has a thick, soft coat!

Cockroach

Dated to be around 300 million years old!

Collie

Gentle and devoted!

Common Buzzard

The most common raptor in the UK!

Common Frog

Found throughout the European continent!

Common Loon

Also known as the Great Northern Diver

Common Raven

A group of ravens is called an unkindness or a conspiracy.

Common Toad

Most active in wet weather!

Cow

There are nearly 1.5 million worldwide!

Crab

There are 93 different crab groups

Crab Spider

Crab Spiders can mimic ants or bird droppings

Crane

Many are critically endangered species!

Curly Coated Retriever

A lively and fun-loving breed!

Deer

There are around 40 different species!

Dog

First domesticated in South-East Asia!

Donkey

First domesticated 5,000 years ago!

Dormouse

Found in Europe, Africa and Asia!

Dragonfly

It's larvae are carnivorous!

Duck

Rows of tiny plates line their teeth!

Eagle

Has exceptional eyesight!

Earwig

There are nearly 2,000 different species!

Edible Frog

Are known to guard the muddy banks!

Eel

Eels can be a mere few inches long to 13 feet!

English Cocker Spaniel

Intelligent yet stubborn by nature!

English Cream Golden Retriever

Although their coats can get incredibly light in color, golden retrievers never have purely white coats.

English Springer Spaniel

Friendly and eager to please!

Ermine

A very bold and ferocious predator!

Falcon

The fastest creatures on the planet!

Fallow deer

The fallow deer has more variation in its coat colors than most other deer.

Ferret

Ferrets can be trained to do tricks like dogs!

Field Spaniel

A sociable and adaptable breed!

Flat-Coated Retriever

A game retrieving gun-dog!

Fly

There are more than 240,000 different species!

Flying Squirrel

Can glide up to 90 meters!

Fox

There are 12 different species in the world!

Fox Terrier

First bred in the mid-19th century!

Frog

There are around 7,000 different species!

Glass Lizard

Can grow up to 4ft long!

Glow Worm

Found inhabiting dense woodland and caves!

Goat

Most closely related to the Sheep!

Golden Oriole

Migrates between Europe and Asia!

Golden Retriever

Trusting, kind and gentle!

Goose

There are 29 different species!

Grasshopper

There are 11,000 known species!

Greyhound

Extremely fast and athletic!

Grouse

Feathered legs and toes!

Hamster

Able to run as quickly backwards as forwards!

Hare

Can reach speeds of over 40 mph!

Harrier

Cheerful, tolerant and sweet-tempered!

Hedgehog

Thought to be one of the oldest mammals on Earth!

Heron

Inhabits wetlands around the world!

Highland Cattle

Natively found in the Scottish Highlands!

Honey Bee

There are only 8 recognized species!

Hoopoe

Stunning bird with a stinky way to deter predators!

Horse

Has evolved over 50 million years!

Horsefly

Horseflies have been seen performing Immelmann turns, much like fighter jets.

Human

Thought to have orignated 200,000 years ago!

Huntsman Spider

Some huntsman spiders have an interesting way of moving around. Some cartwheel while others do handsprings or backflips.

Insects

There are an estimated 30 million species!

Kingfisher

Inhabits wetlands and woodlands worldwide!

Labrador Retriever

Well-balanced, friendly and versatile!

Ladybug

There are more than 5,000 species worldwide!

Lakeland Terrier

These dogs were once used by farmers to keep foxes away from herds of sheep.

Lemming

Does not hibernate during the bitter Arctic winter!

Lizard

There are around 5,000 different species!

Locust

Each locust can eat its weight in plants each day.

Long-Eared Owl

Ear tufts make it look bigger!

Magpie

They are found across Europe, Asia and Africa!

Mallard

With an appropriate tail wind, the mallard can travel hundreds of miles a day

Manchester Terrier

Fences are no match for Manchester terriers. They’re great escape artists!

Marsh Frog

Has bright green skin!

Mastiff

Courageous, calm and affectionate!

Mayfly

There are 2,500 known species worldwide!

Millipede

Some species have a poisonous bite!

Miniature Bull Terrier

This dog has a very happy-go-lucky temperament.

Mole

Primarily hunts and feeds on Earthworms!

Mongrel

Has characteristics of two or more breeds!

Moorhen

Feeds on aquatic insects and water-spiders!

Moth

There are 250,000 different species!

Mouse

Found on every continent on Earth!

Mule

The offspring of a horse and donkey parents!

Neanderthal

Roamed Asia and Europe for around 100,000 years!

Newt

Able to regrow lost or damaged limbs!

Nightingale

Named more than 1,000 years ago!

No See Ums

There are more than 5,000 species.

Norfolk Terrier

Fearless but not aggressive!

Old English Sheepdog

Intelligent, sociable and playful!

Otter

There are 13 different species worldwide

Otterhound

Otterhounds have webbed feet making them great swimmers!

Parson Russell Terrier

The root stock of the breed was a dog named Trump

Patterdale Terrier

A Patterdale Terrier’s small body structure allows it to squeeze into fox burrows.

Peregrine Falcon

Fastest animal on Earth

Pheasant

Females lay between 8 and 12 eggs per clutch!

Pig

Thought to have been domesticated in 9,000 BC!

Pigeon

They can find their way back to their nests from up to 1300 miles away.

Pika

Found in mountainous regions and rocky areas

Pike Fish

Apex freshwater predators with fearsome teeth!

Pocket Beagle

Queen Elizabeth I of England once owned several Pocket Beagles

Pointer

An independent, loyal and high energy breed!

Pond Skater

There are 500 different species!

Pool Frog

The rarest amphibian in the UK!

Porcupine

There are 30 different species worldwide!

Porpoise

Surprisingly, not a dolphin!

Puffin

Can remain in the water for up to 2 minutes!

Purple Emperor Butterfly

Inhabits deciduous forests!

Puss Moth

Caterpillars squirt formic acid!

Quail

Inhabits woodland and forest areas worldwide!

Rabbit

There are more than 50 different species!

Raccoon

Known to wash their food before eating it!

Raccoon Dog

The only hibernating canine!

Rat

Omnivores that eat anything!

River Turtle

Inhabits freshwater habitats around the world!

Robin

There are more than 45 species in Australia alone!

Rodents

The capybara, the world’s largest rodent, likes to be in and around bodies of water. Because of this, the Catholic Church in South America decided that it was a fish, and people were allowed to eat it during Lent and First Fridays.

Russell Terrier

The Russell Terrier was bred to be a good fox hunter with a keen sense of smell

Salamander

There are more than 700 different species!

Sand Lizard

Males turn green in spring!

Scorpion

There are around 2,000 known species!

Scottish Terrier

This breed is nicknamed the “Diehard” because of its iron will and steely determination.

Seahorse

Males give birth to up to 1,000 offspring!

Sealyham Terrier

Very endangered breed that is scion of several breeds that include one that is already extinct

Sheep

Around 35 million in the English countryside!

Shrimp

There are 2,000 different species worldwide!

Skink Lizard

Some skinks lay eggs in some habitats while giving birth to skinklets in other habitats.

Skye Terrier

Skye terriers are the oldest terrier breed, dating back at least 400 years.

Slow Worm

Found widely throughout British gardens!

Smooth Fox Terrier

These dogs are known for their fast digging abilities.

Snail

There are nearly 1,000 different species!

Snake

There are around 3,000 known species worldwide

Snowy Owl

One of the largest owl species in the world!

Spadefoot Toad

They spend most of their time underground!

Sparrow

There are 140 different species!

Squirrel

Small rodents found in woodlands worldwide!

Staffordshire Bull Terrier

Known for their loyalty to their family!

Stag Beetle

More than 1,200 different species!

Stick Insect

There are more than 3,000 different species!

Stoat

Average adults weigh about 200 grams!

Swan

Populations have been affected by pollution!

Tawny Owl

The most widespread owl in Europe!

Termite

Their mounds can be up to 9 meters tall!

Terrier

Terriers were once the greatest dogs in the world.

Thrush

The American robin is called the robin because its red breast reminded European settlers of the robin back in the old country.

Tiger Moth

The bright colors of this moth are a signal to predators that it has a terrible taste.

Tortoise

Can live until they are more than 150 years old!

Tree Frog

Found in warmer jungles and forests!

Vulture

There are 30 different species worldwide!

Wasp

There are around 75,000 recognised species!

Water Buffalo

Has been domesticated for thousands of years!

Water Vole

The largest Vole species in the UK!

Weasel

The smallest carnivorous mammal in the world!

Welsh Corgi

There are two distinct breeds!

Welsh Terrier

The Welsh Terrier has the strength and tenacity to take on foxes and badgers.

West Highland Terrier

Most commonly white in colour!

Whippet

Quiet, gentle and restful dogs!

Wire Fox Terrier

The Wire Fox Terrier was bred from the now extinct Rough Coated Black and Tan Terrier to hunt down foxes.

Wolf

Thought to date back more than 300,000 years!

Wolf Spider

Carnivorous arachnid that hunts its prey.

Woodlouse

Actually a crustacean, not an insect!

Woodpecker

There are 200 different species!

Yorkshire Terrier

Highly energetic and eager for adventure!

British Animals List

Animals in United Kingdom FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

What Animals live in the UK?

The most common animals you will see in Britain include red deer, roe deer, fallow deer, muntjac deer, sika deer, Chinese water deer, brown rats, grey squirrels, and red squirrels. Many other mammals call the country home. There are also pygmy shrews and tiny pipistrelle bats. These are the smallest mammals in Great Britain. Grey seals are abundant on many of the smaller islands.

Among the island chain’s many birds, the brightly billed puffins are a favorite. These birds are colored up like penguins, wearing “tuxedos” of black and white, but they are not flightless. Other birds include barn owls, buzzards, and songbirds.

As for reptiles, there is one venomous snake, the adder, and a number of non-venomous snakes. There are two native species of frogs.

What Animals Are Popular in the UK?

The same children’s book animals, discussed above, are often the most popular animals that tourists wish to see. These include badgers, beavers, red deer, otters, red squirrels, and red foxes.

The royal corgis are also quite popular. These small domestic dogs are a favorite of Queen Elizabeth II.

Are There Any Animals Only Found in the UK?

The Scottish wildcat is one of the only “large” predators remaining in the wild in Britain. It may look similar to a domestic cat, but predates the arrival of humans and their feline companions.

What Is the Most Dangerous Animal in the UK?

Great Britain is home to one venomous reptile, the adder. It is widespread, found across the island nation. Their bite is rarely fatal, and they prefer to flee from humans rather than bite.

How Many Species of Animals Live in the United Kingdom?

There are more than 70,000 species of living things in the United Kingdom. This figure combines animals, plants, fungi, and single-celled organisms, such as protozoa and bacteria. Among these are hundreds of animals and at least 200 species of birds.