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yorkshire wildlife feature

The North York Moors has an abundance of wildlife, from venomous snakes to Roe Deer. In this post, we list six animals interesting animals you ought to look out for on your next visit to the North York Moors.


1. Adder

yorkshire moors wildlife adder

The Adder is the UK’s only venomous native snake (in the wild of course!). Also known as ‘the common European viper’, it’s bite is rarely fatal but can be extremely painful. Adders are found in different terrains but prefer undisturbed areas, making the Yorkshire Moors an ideal location for this amphibian. Sighting an Adder is considered rare as they are highly sensitive to vibrations in the ground and usually flee from noise to avoid predators. Adders feed on a mixture of small creatures, ranging from birds and lizards to mice.


2. Roe Deer

yorkshire moors wildlife roe deer

Do you know what species Bambi is? Interestingly, Bambi was a Roe Deer in the original novel, titled “Bambi, a Life in the Woods” and published in 1923. Disney changed Bambi’s species in the film as Roe Deer are not native to America. The good news is, they are native to the UK and can be spotted in the North York Moors woodlands. Roe Deer are extremely well camouflaged and when standing still, they are almost impossible to spot. An early-morning walk will provide you with the best chance to spot one as they often feed around this time. If you happen to spot a young deer that appears to be abandoned, walk away quietly and leave it alone as their mothers are likely to be nearby feeding,


3. Emperor Moth

yorkshire moors wildlife emporer moth

It is believed that the circular colours on this moth’s wings are a protective feature and is supposed to represent the eyes of a predator. The females release a scent that can be detected from up to a mile away by the males. Eggs laid around May and June hatch into small, black caterpillars. These feed on heather and bramble, making the North York Moors an ideal location, until they spin their cocoons in late summer.


4. White-Clawed Crayfish

yorkshire moors wildlife White-Clawed Crayfish

White-Clawed Crayfish are Britain’s only native species of Crayfish and are threatened by other non-native species that were introduced around the ’70s to supply restaurants. During the day, these nocturnal creatures can be found in holes or under tree roots and stones alongside riverbanks, whilst at night they venture out in search of food. Crayfish are known to eat plants, animals, dead things and even each other.


5. Snipe

yorkshire moors wildlife Snipe

The North York Moors wetlands are crucial for ground-nesting birds such as the snipe. With a beak as long as 25cm (about 10in), you’ll recognise this interesting bird if you see one. Its beak has a flexible tip that it uses to search for insects, it then sucks up its prey from the floor.


6. Otter

yorkshire moors wildlife otter

As a result of water pollution and the loss of habitats in the ’80s, Otters were becoming increasingly scarce in the North York Moors. After several initiatives were launched to reduce pollution and reintroduce this animal into rivers, today, Otter numbers in the region are much stronger. Otters are usually nocturnal and very difficult to see.

Feeling inspired to reconnect with nature? Find your perfect cottage to visit the North York Moors here.


Sources: Wildlife Wanderer, Debbie StewartGrosser Schillerfalter, Natural England, Tony Sutton and Marc Evans

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