Taking a riverside vacation? Keep a look out for some fascinating species.
Water voles are a threatened species.
The water vole is an endangered species distinguished from rats by its blunt nose, short ears, and fuzzy tail. It may be found near rivers, streams, ponds, and lakes, as well as in marshes and moorland. Look for riverside burrows with a nibbled “lawn” of grass surrounding the entrance, which indicates the presence of water voles.
Beavers: on the verge of extinction
Britain’s biggest rodent has been returned after a 400-year hiatus due to extinction. The beaver, the size of a tubby spaniel, lives in watery settings and constructs dams. It is best seen between twilight and sunrise.
Seasonal sightings of bats
The United Kingdom is home to 18 different bat species. They emerge from hibernation in the summer to hunt insects, give birth, and rear their young. They may be found all around the nation, especially in warm weather and near bodies of water with insects to eat.
Otters are predators of waterways
The British otter is a common yet secretive river predator. For the best chances of seeing one, head to the rivers and marshes of Scotland, west Wales, the West Country, or East Anglia. Keep a look out for five-toed footprints (6-7cm long) and droppings in prominent locations left as ground messages.
Rats are urban fighters
Rats are excellent swimmers and are frequently seen near rivers, particularly in metropolitan areas where food is plentiful. They’re disliked, but surely you’d rather see one of the estimated 150 million wild rats in the UK swimming in a canal than in your bathtub…