BBC Home
Explore the BBC



Last Updated: Thursday May 12 2011 10:11 GMT

What is Leah's Wild Five?

Leah's Wild Five

Endangered animals aren't just in other countries - lots of species in the UK are having problems too.

Leah's been checking some of them out in her Wild Five series.

On her list are red kites, adders, beavers, wildcats and bats and she explains more below.

"For the last couple of months I've been travelling all over the country to bring you five animals who, if something isn't done to help them, could face a very uncertain future.

Beavers are the second largest rodents in the world.

I headed to Argyll on the west coast of Scotland to witness how beavers there are fighting back after being hunted to extinction almost 500 years ago. I was shocked to discover there are now only 12 left in the wild.

Then I went to Dorset where adders are disappearing from our landscape - and experts reckon that us humans didn't help much.

Another animal on my list is the bat - the UK's only flying mammal. I went bat hunting in London. Bats love ponds because lots of insects hang around them. And bats love munching on the odd daddy long legs.

Only 400 wildcats are left in the Highlands.

In the Scottish Highlands I set up camera traps to seek out one of their most mysterious mammals - the wildcat.

I ended in Oxfordshire to check in on the beautiful red kites who are now thriving after a successful scheme to help boost their numbers.

To be honest before I started this project I had no idea lots of these animals were in trouble but what's really good to see is that loads is being done to help."

An adder
The adder is the only venomous snake found in the UK.

The Wildlife Trusts, who help protect UK animal habitats, say: "Wildlife here needs our help as much as it does anywhere in the world. Habitats have been broken up over time, and are at risk from a changing climate."