Wildcats, foxes, squirrels or bats? Britain asked to vote for its favourite mammal

The Royal Society of Biology is inviting the public to pick the animal closest to its heart, to raise awareness of threats to wildlife

Britons have been asked to name their favourite mammal. A Royal Society of Biology (RSB) poll, launched on Sunday, will seek to pinpoint which non-domestic creature – found within our shores and coastal waters – is closest to the nation’s heart. Candidates include the water vole, highland wildcat, fox, bottlenose dolphin, red squirrel and soprano pipistrelle bat.

The poll, set up as part of Biology Week, which began on Saturday, is aimed at finding out what British people value most in the environment. “People act on what they care about, so it’s not just fun to explore their preferences and preconceptions, it’s useful too,” said Professor David Macdonald, director of Oxford University’s Wildlife Conservation Research Unit. “We already know that the global favourites are big cats, and that knowledge can mobilise conservation campaigns – so let’s find out which UK mammal people most want to champion.”

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