These British Mammals Are At Risk

The United Kingdom is home to a diverse range of wildlife, including mammals. Unfortunately, several of these species are at risk of going extinct. We have listed mammals that are in danger of becoming extinct in the UK due to habitat destruction, disease and human interference. If we do not take action soon, these animals could disappear forever from our green and pleasant land.

Scottish Wildcat

The Scottish wildcat is a wild cat native to the UK and Western Europe. It is one of the most critically endangered mammals in the UK. The wildcat population has declined massively over the last 200 years, due to a number of reasons.

It is a large, muscular cat with a broad head, short black fur and a white tip on its tail. Wildcats have a distinctive black stripe across their back, which is the reason why they are also known as the Scottish tuxedo cat.

There are only about 2500-3500 left in the wild. Because this species is so rare, it is listed as a critically endangered species. The biggest threat to wildcats is interbreeding with domestic cats. If a wildcat mates with a domestic cat, the offspring will be entirely domesticated.

While wildcats can live in a variety of habitats, they are very sensitive to human interference. Habitat destruction, as well as being killed as pests, are the biggest threats to wildcats.

Small Shrew

The small shrew is one of the most endangered mammals in the UK. It is a very small rodent with a thick, furry coat. These shrews feed on invertebrates such as slugs and snails and are very useful in keeping garden pests under control. The animal has brown fur with white tips and a long tail.

The main threats to the small shrew are habitat loss, changes in agricultural practices, and a decrease in the number of nesting sites. The shrew also faces predation from a number of predators, including birds of prey.

The shrew is a very sensitive animal, and if any of its natural habitats are disturbed, it will leave the area. As a result, it is particularly vulnerable to the effects of climate change.

The shrew also has a very low reproductive rate, which makes it difficult for the species to repopulate after any kind of disturbance. Although the small shrew is protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act, conservation efforts for this species are limited.


The hedgehog is, without a doubt, one of the most recognisable mammals in the UK. Unfortunately, the population of hedgehogs in the UK has been declining since 2003. A number of factors have contributed to this decline, including habitat loss, climate change, and fewer insects due to pesticides. There has been a rise in the number of road accidents involving hedgehogs, which is another significant threat to the species and it is thought that there are only around one million hedgehogs left in the UK. This is a stark decline from the 30 million hedgehogs estimated to be in the UK in the 1950s.

There are a number of ways that you can help hedgehogs. You can create a hedgehog-friendly garden by leaving areas of your garden untouched and providing water in the form of a shallow bowl filled with water.

Water Shrew

The water shrew is a small mammal found across the UK, Europe and Asia. This shrew lives in aquatic environments, such as ponds and ditches. The water shrew is a very rare mammal, and there are less than 1,000 mature individuals remaining in the wild.

The main threats to the water shrew are predation and loss of habitat due to drainage. The water shrew has also been affected by a decline in the insects that it feeds upon. This is due to changes in agricultural practices, such as pesticide use.

The water shrew has been protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act since 1988 and any harming or killing of these mammals is a criminal offence.

It is a shy, nocturnal mammal that lives along rivers, streams and lakes. The water shrew is very sensitive to changes in its environment, which makes it a good indicator species. If the water shrew is doing badly, this is a good indication that the environment is also in bad health.

There are a number of protected areas in the UK and Europe where the shrew can be found, such as the River Test in Hampshire.


The beaver had been extinct in the UK since the 17th century, when it was hunted to near-extinction for its fur. It was reintroduced to the UK in 2009, but has since been found to be suffering from a parasite that is causing significant damage to the health of them. This parasite, called the liver fluke, has been shown to cause death among the beaver population. The beaver has been protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act since 1981. The beaver has been reintroduced to several areas of the UK, including Devon, Cumbria, Conwy, Herefordshire and Buckinghamshire and the reintroduction project has been claimed a success, but this has been controversial since they can damage property and crops by building dams that flood land and create beaver ponds.

Black Rat

The black rat is a rodent that is currently possibly extinct in the wild in the UK. Fortunately, there are a number of black rat populations in captivity that are used for research and conservation efforts. The black rat has been declining in the UK since the 19th century, when it was hunted to near-extinction.

Introduced to the UK dring the Roman times it had few natural predators, which allowed its population to grow quickly but domestic cats and common brown rats can keep them under control. The black rat is a host for a number of zoonotic diseases, including bubonic plague. Plague is a disease that can be transmitted from the black rat to humans. Fortunately, there have been no cases of bubonic plague in the UK since the 1980s.

There is talk a major effort to reintroduce the black rat to the wild in the UK; something which, again, will raise a lot of objections.


The slow-worm is the only native legless lizard found in the UK. It is a sandy-coloured reptile with a brown stripe along its back. Slow-worms are very common in the UK, but are often mistaken for snakes. The species is in danger due to habitat loss and being killed as a result of being mistaken for a venomous species.

It is a protected species in the UK, but this has not stopped its population from declining. The slow-worm is a very delicate species, and any changes to its natural habitats can drastically impact its population. The introduction of certain species and the loss of others has added to the slow-worm’s vulnerability. The slow-worm is also particularly sensitive to changes in the environment, and it is extremely rare to find slow-worms above ground during the winter months.

Black Adder

The black adder is a snake species found in the UK, as well as in France and Ireland. The adder is a protected species in the UK, but this has not stopped its population from declining. The adder is extremely sensitive to changes in its environment, such as long periods of wet weather. The adder also faces predation from a number of species, including birds of prey. The black adder is also very sensitive to human interaction, and can be greatly impacted by noise pollution and the clearing of natural habitats.

Black adders are largely nocturnal and mainly feed on rodents. Although venomous they are a protected species in the UK, meaning it is illegal to kill one.

Great Crested Newt

The great crested newt is Britain’s only native aquatic salamander. The species is protected under UK and EU law, and can only be caught and sold with a specific licence.

Great-crested newts mate in early spring, and the male carries the eggs on his back until they hatch. The juveniles live on land for up to 10 years, but return to the water to breed. The species has been declining in numbers due to habitat loss, as well as being killed by humans when mistaken for a frog.

While the great crested newt is a protected species in the UK, it has seen a significant decline in its population over the last few decades. The great crested newt is particularly vulnerable to changes in the environment, such as changes in land use and rainfall. It is particularly sensitive to water pollution, and can be negatively impacted by changes in water levels.

There are a number of ways in which you can help to protect the great crested newt, such as avoiding using pesticides in your garden and planting flowers that are rich in nectar.


One of the main reasons so many mammals are at risk of becoming extinct is that their populations have become fragmented. This means that the animals have been forced to live in smaller areas due to human development and destruction of their natural habitat. Small populations are at a higher risk of becoming extinct, as they are more vulnerable to extinction factors such as disease or natural disaster. It’s important to protect the species that still remain in the UK and to continue to work towards biodiversity and wildlife conservation. By educating people about the importance of wildlife conservation, and the threats that these animals face, we can help to ensure that they are here to stay!