Our Wildlife

Our Wildlife

With the variety of habitats at the lakes it’s not surprising that there is also a vast range of flora and fauna making the lakes their home.

Conserving and enhancing these habitats is important for a variety of species including otters, dragonflies, wetland birds, newts and a wide range of flora. The ponds at Roadford, Burrator and Lower Tamar are all easily accessed enabling you to enjoy this special habitat in harmony with wildlife.

Ponds, Wetlands, Fen, Mudflats, Saltmarsh, Freshwater marsh , Reedbeds

It goes without saying that water habitats are a common occurrence at the sites we manage, however we must remember that it’s not just about the big water bodies but rather the variety of ‘water-based’ habitats that the lakes boast. Conserving and enhancing these habitats is important for a variety of species including otters, dragonflies, wetland birds, newts and a wide range of flora.

The Hazel or Common dormouse has seen a dramatic decline in recent times. In the UK it is only found in England and Wales, most frequently in the South of England. It has become extinct in several counties in the last 100 years and is largely absent from Northern England, although the South West still remains a stronghold for this species.

The barn owl is perhaps the most widely distributed land bird in the world and occurs locally throughout Europe. In the UK it is patchily distributed in rural lowland areas. Being a specialist small mammal feeder, the presence of the species is a good indicator of ecologically rich areas of habitat. The species has benefited from modern agriculture and the use of farm buildings make ideal nesting sites for them, in addition to old hollow trees and caves. Like so many species of farmland birds, the barn owl has undergone a major decline during the last century due to changes in agricultural practises. Losses of nesting sites due to building decay, demolition or barn conversions have further contributed to this decline.

The UK is believed to be the one of the remaining strongholds for the marsh fritillary in Europe. However it has declined substantially here over the last ten years. The marsh fritillaries’ range has reduced by over 62% and it has recently disappeared from most of Eastern England and Eastern Scotland. It is still abundant in the South West but is disappearing at a rate of 10% per decade.

Populations occur on a number of sites across Devon, Cornwall and also in North Somerset. It has been recorded on at least two of our sites sites, these being Fernworthy Reservoir, Devon and Wimbleball Lake, Somerset.

The Eurasian or European otter (Lutra lutra) is native to the UK. It belongs to the Mustelid family that includes weasels, stoats, badgers, polecats, pine martins and mink.

The otter has a broad geographical distribution that extends west-to-east from Ireland to Japan and north-to-south between the Arctic Circle and Southeast Asia (Environment Agency, 1999).

The spotted flycatcher is an insectivorous summer migrant, which breeds in open woodland habitats throughout the UK. Mature broadleaved woodland, hedgerows that host mature trees, parkland and large gardens are the main habitats for this species.

The species has been in decline since the early 1960s. During the Common Bird Census (1968 – 1991) the species showed a 62% decline in woodland and a 70% decline in farmland habitats. The species is listed as Red in the Birds of Conservation Concern System within the UK. Red List birds are of high conservation concern.