Posted 31st May 2018 by Peter Byrne
Research has revealed 82 per cent of the nation lacks any knowledge about UK wildlife, and are unaware of the animals that inhabit our shores
The survey found the animals that lurk in our seas remain a mystery to many of us too, with more than three quarters (78 per cent) unaware that an orca can be spotted. 77 per cent were unaware that you can see a humpback whale, and 40 per cent had not realised you can spot a shark, even though at least 11 species are found locally.
One of the UK's rarest reptiles, the sand lizard, also slipped under the radar with 74 per cent unable to identify it as native.
With so much wildlife to take in on our shores, it's a shame that only 13 per cent have said they have spotted a golden eagle, and only 18 per cent have seen a dolphin. On top of this, 67 per cent of adults are aware that puffins reside in the UK, but only 18 per cent have seen one for themselves.
Compared to this, owls (69 per cent) and red squirrels (53 per cent) are commonly spotted by Brits, yet hedgehogs have not been seen by a third of the nation.
Out of the 20 rarest animals in the UK, the survey by Snaptrip.com found Brits would most like to see:
- Killer whale (39 per cent)
- Dolphin (35 per cent)
- Golden eagle (34 per cent)
- Humpback whale (32 per cent)
- Red squirrel (18 per cent)
Richard Harrington, Head of Communications at the Marine Conservation Society, commented: "UK wildlife is captivating and fascinating, and rivals anything you can find in other parts of the world. It is really worth planning your holidays to coincide with opportunities to see animals in their natural habitat. For example the humpback whale, though rare, can be found to the west of the UK in spring and autumn. Bottlenose dolphins can be found year round - you just need to be in the know about where to go!"
"Your best bet to spot any marine life is from a boat, but they can be spotted from high above too. Prominent headlands like Flamborough on the Yorkshire coast, Cape Cornwall and Lleyn Peninsula as well as islands such as Ramsey in Pembrokeshire are a great way to see dolphins and wales from dry land."
You can find out more here.
Image courtesy of Matt Roseveare