Protected Species of the Peak District
The Peak District is home to hundreds of different animals, birds, insects and fish but unfortunately some of them are endangered. Below are some of the protected species which live in the area which you might be lucky enough to see during your weekend break in the Peak District.
Unfortunately bats have seen a dramatic decline in their population in recent years, and now many species find themselves on the endangered species list. Of the seventeen or so species that live in this country at least six of them reside in the National Park so you should still have a good chance of spotting some during evening walks in the Peak District.
Bats can be found living in buildings such as churches and barns these days, as many of their typical roosting areas like caves and old trees have become rarer in this age of progression. They are also capable of fitting through gaps as small as 1cm if they feel they’ve found a nice site to roost. Bats are nocturnal and feed on insects, but with their declining numbers, insects are becoming more prevalent.
Look out for these common species of bat in the Peak District during dusk walks and see if you can spot any:
- Whiskered pipistrelle bats
- Brand's pipistrelle bats
- Natterer's bats
- Brown long eared bats.
Species of birds prevalent in this area are now commonly found nesting around buildings in the Peak District, rather than in their traditional nesting grounds of trees and cliff wall cavities.
House sparrows and starlings are the most common birds, staying around the Peak District all year long, while through summer, migrant birds like swallows and swifts arrive from places as far away as Africa. Sadly, the once widespread barn owl only exists in limited numbers now so they may not be easy to spot during your weekend break in the Peak District. They tend to nest in abandoned buildings far away from humans and near to rough grassland where they can hunt small mammals. There are thought to be only 3000 – 5000 breeding pairs of barn owls in the country now.
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