Encyclopedia of British Mammals

Title Scientific Name Description Edit link
Yellow-necked mouse Apodemus flavicollis

They are very similar in appearance to the Wood Mouse, who they are related to. They have sandy brown fur and white undersides and can be distinguished from the Wood Mouse by a yellow spot, which... more

Wood Mouse Apodemus sylvaticus

Large ears and protruding eyes, together with dark sandy brown upper parts and white under belly, with a long tail.

Water Vole Arvicola terrestris

Dark chocolate brown fur, with a chubby face and blunt nose and a shorter tail than a rat.

Minke Whale Balaenoptera acutorostrata
Barbastelle Bat Barbastella barbastellus

The Barbastelle bat is a medium sized bat that has long silky fur that is dark brown to black in colour. The Barbastelle also has an almost frosted appearance due to the presence of almost white... more

Roe deer Capreolus capreolus

The Roe is the smallest native British deer and its coat varies from grey/brown to black in winter, and reddish/brown to sandy in summer. Their antlers are much less ornate than those of the... more

Beaver Castor fiber

Droppings are small for such a large mammal - 2.3cm long with diameter of around 2cm. Remains consist almost entirely of bark/wood remains. Generally deposited in the water, where they... more

Red Deer Cervus elephus

The largest land animal in the UK, the Red Deer stands over 1.2m to the shoulder. The male deer has antlers that can span over 1m that are used primarily to display status, rather than as a form... more

Sika Deer Cervus nippon

Intermediate in size between roe and red deer. Similar pelage to fallow deer, but darker. Reddish brown to yellow-brown, dark dorsal stripe surrounded by white spots in the summer. Dark grey to... more

Greater White-toothed Shrew Crocidura russula
Lesser White-toothed Shrew Crocidura suaveolens
Hooded Seal Cystophora cristatus
Fallow Deer Dama dama

Fallow Deer vary greatly in appearance - both 'black' and 'white' herds, together with another variety having larger spots. The spots tend to disappear in winter as the coat turns grey/brown.... more

Common Dolphin Delphinus delphis
Northern Bat Eptesicus nilssoni

The Northern bat has long shaggy fur that it dark brown with gold tips and approx. 2-3mm of its tail is free of any membrane. The Northern bat is very similar in appearance to the Serotine bat but... more

Serotine Bat Eptesicus serotinus

The Serotine bat is one of the largest bats found in the UK. It has long fur that is dark to smoky brown on the back and yellowish brown on the underside. Its triangular shaped ears and nose are... more

Bearded Seal Erignathus barbatus
Hedgehog Erinaceus europaeus

Yellow-tipped 2cm spines on it's grey/brown back and sides are perhaps the best known features of the hedgehog, which has relatively long legs and short tail, together with small eyes and ears.... more

Wildcat Felis sylvestris

Britain's only native cat. They look very similar to domestic tabby cats but are much larger, have a stockier build and a thick bushy tail, which has 3-5 broad black bands of fur and a rounded... more

Edible Dormouse Glis glis

Significantly larger than the dormouse, the Edible Dormouse has a uniform grey coat with white underside and large, bushy tail, and is almost as big as a squirrel.

Grey Seal Halichoerus grypus
Chinese Water Deer Hydropotes inermis

A small species intermediate between Muntjac and roe deer. No antlers but large protruding tusks in bucks, which are generally only visible in adults. The tusks are used as weapons during the rut... more

Northern Bottlenose Whale Hyperoodon ampullatus

The Northern Bottlenose Whale has a distinctive bulbous head with the tube-like beak. They typically range in size from 6 m to 10 m long and weigh about 5-7 tonnes.
Newborn Northern... more

Hoary bat Lasiurus cinereus

One of the largest bats with a thick dark brown fur that is tipped with a white/silver colour that gives it a frosted look. It has short rounded ears that have a black rim and both the surface of... more

Brown Hare Lepus europaeus

Similar to a rabbit but with longer, larger black tipped ears and longer hind legs, the fur is tawny grey/brown in colour with a lighter coloured underbelly and flanks.

Mountain Hare Lepus timidus

Sometimes known as the Blue hare because of Blue-grey summer coat, but in winter it turns white except for black ear tips and brown splodge on the nose.

Otter Lutra lutra

Otters have the typical Mustelid body shape of a long, slim body and skull with powerful jaws. They have webbed feet and a powerful rudder like tail, which they use to propel them through water.... more

Red-necked Wallaby Macropus rufogriseus

Droppings are ovoid pellets 1.5-2cm in diameter. Composed of fibrous material, they have rounded ends, and are deposited randomly in a loose clump, or a few pellets in string form.

Pine Marten Martes martes

A long bushy tail with long rich grey/brown fur on its upper parts, the throat or bib of the pine marten is creamy-yellow.

Badger Meles meles

Badgers have a powerful, barrel shaped body with blunt tail and short, sturdy legs with strong claws. With coarse hair, the underparts and legs are black with a grey back; the head has white... more

Harvest Mouse Micromys minutus

Britain's smallest rodent, the Harvest Mouse yellow-brown furry upper parts and whiter underbelly, small ears and a blunt nose, with a long tail.

Field Vole Microtus agrestis

Grey-brown above, cream-grey below - more even than Bank Vole. Tail less than 40% of body length, tail also much shorter than that of Bank Vole. Ears are almost completely covered by fur, whereas... more

Common Vole Microtus arvalis
Orkney vole Microtus arvalis orcadensis

The Orkney Vole is the only vole that is active in daylight. It has a typical voles body, being stocky with a short, round snout. It is difficult to distinguish from the Field Vole, but it has... more

Muntjac Deer Muntiacus reevesi

A small dark red/brown deer with white underside to the head and throat and a white rump.

House Mouse Mus domesticus

Grey-brown fur, slightly paler underneath the body. Long, sparsely furred, scaly tail. Prominent ears and large eyes (but eyes not as large as those of the Wood Mouse). Usually has a typical '... more

Dormouse Muscardinus avellanarius

A small orange coloured mammal which is declining in Britain. It is nocturnal and spends its entire life in the trees feeding on insects fruits and nuts. There are thought to be 80,000 dormice... more

Stoat Mustela erminea

Creamy white underparts, which are more apparent when it sits upright, with a brown head, back and flanks - the end of it's tail is black tipped. In winter the Stoat's coat may turn completely... more

Weasel Mustela nivalis

With a long slender body and short tail the Weasel has gingery/russet brown fur and is the smallest British flesh eating mammal.

Polecat Mustela putorius

With white markings on the tips of their ears and the end of their snout, the Polecat has a long body with short legs and two-toned fur which is creamy-yellow at the base and black at the tip,... more

Mink Mustela vison

A chocolate brown stoat like animal that is related to stoats and weasels. often mistaken with otters due to their aquatic life but are much smaller.

Coypu Myocastor coypus

Coypu droppings are long, round in cross section and spindly in appearance. Size approx. 1.1-7cm in adults, smaller in juveniles. Distinctive shape is a key ID feature. Found scattered along river... more

Bank Vole Myodes glareolus

As the UK's smallest vole, the adult Bank Vole has a ruddy-brown coat with a rounded, mouse-like appearance, prominent ears and a long tail. An agile creature, the Bank Vole can move fast over... more

Bechstein's Bat Myotis bechsteini

A medium sized bat with fairly long fur that is pale to reddish brown on its back and a light grey on its underside. The Bechstein's bat has short broad wings that are brown to grey in colour and... more

Brandt's Bat Myotis brandti

The Brandt's bat has a shaggy fur that is a light reddish brown in colour with a visible golden sheen on the upper parts of the body and the under belly is usually a pale grey with yellow tinges.... more

Daubenton's Bat Myotis daubentoni

The fur on the upper-parts of the Daubenton bat is grey/dark brown and on the under-parts silvery grey. The face is pinkish-brown and the wing and tail membranes are dark brown. Large furry feet... more

Greater Mouse-Eared Bat Myotis myotis

Medium brown coloured fur on the top with greyish white fur on the underside. The Greater Mouse-Eared bat has very large ears with a very prominent narrow tragus.

Whiskered Bat Myotis mystacinus

The Whiskered bat has shaggy fur that can be a dark brown, greyish brown or light brown on its back and a dark or light grey on its underside. The nose, ears and wing membranes are all a blackish... more

Natterer's Bat Myotis nattereri

The Natterer's bat has long fluffy fur that is grey/brown on its back and whitish on its underside. It has largish outward pointing ears that have a long narrow tragus and both the bats face and... more

Water Shrew Neomys fodiens

A black coat with silvery-white underparts, white ear tips and eyebrows, with a medium length tail, are the distinguishing features of this little mammal.

Leisler's Bat Nyctalus leisleri

A medium sized bat with short blackish brown fur on its back that turns a reddish colour towards the tips and yellowish brown fur on its underside. The face, ears and wing membranes are all a... more

Noctule Bat Nyctalus noctula

One of the largest bats in the UK with short goldish reddish/brown fur on its back that will appear glossy during the summer months. The Noctule's underside is light brown and both its long narrow... more

Musk Rat Ondatra zibethica
Rabbit Oryctolagus cuniculus

Short brown/greyish fur tinged orange at the nape, with a short black tipped white tail and long ears.

Ringed Seal Phoca hispida
Common Seal Phoca vitulina

Short body and flippers are topped with a large head and snub nose. The colour varies from grey, brown, black to tan with a varied non uniform pattern.

Harbour Porpoise Phocoena phocoena
Nathusius's Pipistrelle Pipistrellus nathusii

During the summer the Nathusius bat has a reddish brown fur on its back, however, this back fur will moult to a dark brown colour for the winter period. The back fur can also have grey tips to it... more

Pipistrelle Bat Pipistrellus pipistrellus

The Pipistrelle bats are the smallest of the bats found in the UK. Pipistrellus pipistrellus has dark brown to rusty coloured fur on its back and Pipistrellus pygmaeus has olive brown fur on its... more

Brown Long-eared Bat Plecotus auritus

The second most common bat in Britain with ears that are three quarters the length of its head and body. While at rest it tends to either curl its ears back or tuck them under its wings, so that... more

Grey Long-eared Bat Plecotus austriacus

The Grey Long-Eared bat has long grey fur which is dark grey on the back and very pale grey on the underside. The nose and top lip are usually greyish to black in colour and the wing membrane,... more

Brown Rat Rattus norvegicus

The Brown rat has coarse, grey-brown fur with a thick scaly tail, which is always shorter than its body, and has small finely haired ears.

Black Rat Rattus rattus

The Black Rat has a pointed nose, large ears and a slender body when compared to the Brown Rat (Rattus Norvegicus).

Greater Horseshoe Bat Rhinolophus ferrumequinum

The thick fur of the greater horseshoe bat is coloured ash grey on the top and a buff colour with darker tips on the underside. Older adults may however also be a reddish or russet colour. It has... more

Lesser Horseshoe Bat Rhinolophus hipposideros

Fluffy soft fur that is brownish on the back and grey/white on the underside. Called the Lesser Horseshoe bat due to its horseshoe shaped nose leaf, which is the horseshoe shaped piece of skin you... more

Red Squirrel Sciurus vulgaris

A small mammal, the red squirrel has a deep reddish brown coat, sometimes tinged grey on the underbelly and tail; the tail is approx. 20cm long.

Common Shrew Sorex araneus

Silky brown fur, a grey underside and a long narrow nose are probably the most distinguishing features of the common shrew.

Pygmy Shrew Sorex minutus

The Pygmy Shrew is Britain's smallest mammal. It has brown fur and has a pointed, narrow nose and a bulbous head. They are solitary creatures and are intolerant of other shrews except during the... more

Wild Boar Sus scrofa

The Wild Boar is an ancestor of our domestic pigs. They have long bodies, short legs and a large head on a short neck. The coat consists of short bristly hair, which is dark or brindled with the... more

Mole Talpa europaea

Moles have cylindrical bodies, black fur and tiny eyes, which are difficult to see for the thick fur surrounding them, and while they have ears, they are not visible. They have a small snout and... more

Bottle-nosed Dolphin Tursiops truncatus
Parti-coloured Bat Vespertilio murinus
Fox Vulpes vulpes

A slender dog like animal with reddish brown upper coat and white/grey underparts, plus a bushy white tipped tail which is approx. 40cm in length