The Isle of Wight, being separated from the UK mainland by water, and possessing an excellent climate and environment, as well as plenty of variety in its landscape to provide many sorts of habitat, has long been a haven for animals that haven’t fared as well on the mainland. This article will have a look at some of those animals and offer some explanation as to why they have survived there.
The first is the Red Squirrel, which is an increasingly rare sight in Scotland, and almost unknown in England and Wales. The main reason for their decline is the introduction of the grey squirrel, which takes up the same habitats but is larger and more vicious than the red. The greys haven’t reached the Isle of Wight though, and so here the Red Squirrels can still make use of the habitats that they like.
Other animals that are also rare in England, mostly due to the destruction of their habitats because of industrial or agricultural work, are the dormouse and the water vole. The latter was mostly due to the introduction of the American Mink and the destruction of their habitats through industrial and agricultural development, the former due entirely to its environments (hedgerows and woodland) being destroyed.
The Glanville Fritillary is another animal that visitors to the island can hope to see. This orange and brown butterfly displays its colour in a chequered pattern, and is nearly impossible to catch a glimpse of in the UK. On the Island, however, this butterfly is still doing well, and sightings are common if you’re with somebody who knows where to look, and at the island at the right time of year.
Finally, twelve species of bats are found on the island, and as only fifteen are found in the UK as a whole, that’s not an insignificant amount. Bats have been on the rise again in many parts of the UK, but on the Isle of Wight they are definitely still in full force. Bat walks are a good way to hear them, but seeing bats has to be done during twilight, and even then they may well not be much more than a brown blur.
Source by Tom Sangers