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Mammals

County Recorder: Simone Bullion



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Species list

Atlantic White-sided Dolphin
two dolphins swimming

Atlantic White-sided Dolphin Lagenorhynchus acutus

The Atlantic white-sided dolphin gets its name from the distinctive white stripe on its side, which starts just below the dorsal fin and runs into a yellow/ochre blaze continuing onto the tailstock which is easily seen when the animal is bow-riding or porpoising. They are quite stocky little dolphins with short stubby beaks yet a relatively large dorsal fin. Image: Gale/yeimaya (Flickr)

Find out more: Whale and Dolphin Conservation, The Mammal Society, iNaturalist

Bats
close up of a pipistrelle bat

Bats grouped plan

Bats are fascinating animals – the only true flying mammal. There are over 1,400 species of bats in the world, and more are still being discovered. Bats account for more than a quarter of mammal species in the UK and around 20% of all mammal species worldwide. Image: Giles San Martin (Flickr).

Find out more: Bat Conservation Trust, Suffolk Wildlife Trust, Suffolk Bat Group, iNaturalist

Bottlenose Dolphin
bottlenose dolphin

Bottlenose Dolphin Tursiops truncatus 

Bottlenose dolphins are the most recognisable of all dolphin species. They are generally relatively large, chunky individuals with a dark grey back and paler belly. They have a short, stubby beak and that endearing mouth shape that makes them look as though they are smiling. Individuals can be recognised by distinct notches and markings on their dorsal fin, as unique as our fingerprints. Image: Natural Englan/Allan Drewitt (Flickr).

Find out more: Whale and Dolphin Conservation, The Mammal Society, iNaturalist

Brown Hare
A brown hare facing the camera

Brown Hare Lepus europaeus 

The brown hare has very long black-tipped ears; large, long, powerful hind legs. They are much redder than the mountain hare, and with a black-topped tail. There is yellow flecking to the fur, more so than grey-brown rabbits. The brown hare is larger than rabbits. Image: Margaret Holland (Flickr).

Find out more: The Mammal Society, Suffolk Wildlife Trust, People's Trust for Endangered Species, iNaturalist

Common Dolphin
Two common dolphins jumping

Common Dolphin Delphinus delphis

Common dolphins have distinctive colouring with multiple colour bands along their sides. Predominantly black or dark grey in colour, forward of the dorsal fin their flanks have a flash of yellow whilst behind the dorsal fin it is white. This colouration forms a beautiful hourglass pattern on their sides. Image: Natural England/Rebecca Walker (Flickr).

Find out more: Whale and Dolphin Conservation, The Mammal Society, Suffolk Wildlife Trust, iNaturalist

Common Seal
a common seal basking on the beach

Common Seal (Harbour Seal) Phoca vitulina

Fine spot-patterned grey or brown fur; rounded head with no ears visible; ‘V’ shaped nostrils and long whiskers.  Common seals feed at sea but regularly haul out on to rocky shores or inter-tidal sandbanks to rest, or to give birth and to suckle their pups. Image: Nick Goodrum (Flickr).

Find out more: Mammal Society, Suffolk Wildlife TrustiNaturalist

Harbour Porpoise
harbour porpoise with blowhole open

Harbour Porpoise Phocoena phocoena 

Harbour porpoises are relatively small compared to other dolphins. They have small, rounded heads with no beak and dark lips and chin. Equipped with robust, stocky bodies, they have predominantly dark brown backs with a pale grey or white underside, blending halfway up their sides. A small triangular fin set just past the centre of the back is one of its very distinctive features. Image: Andrew Reding (Flickr).

Find out more: Whale and Dolphin Conservation, The Mammal Society, Suffolk Wildlife Trust, iNaturalist

Harvest Mouse
A harvest mouse on reed tassles

Harvest Mouse Micromys minutus

Blunt nose, small eyes, and small hairy ears in contrast to other British species of mice and also much smaller; prehensile tail the same length as the head and body; russet orange fur with a white underside. Image: Neil Rolph (Flickr).

Find out more: Mammal SocietySuffolk Wildlife Trust, iNaturalist

Hazel Dormouse
A dormouse climbing a plant stem

Hazel Dormouse Muscardinus avellanarius

Hazel dormice have golden-brown fur and large black eyes and, distinctively, they are the only small British mammal with a furry tail. They are nocturnal and spend almost all of their time in the branches of trees during the summer, rarely coming down to the ground. Image: Frank Vassen (Flickr).

Find out more: The Mammal Society, Suffolk Wildlife Trust, People's Trust for Endangered Species, iNaturalist

Hedgehog
Two hedgehogs nose to nose

Hedgehog Erinaceus europaeus

Unmistakable coat of several thousand spines along the back, speckled brown and cream. Brown pointed furry face, small black eyes and nose. Image: Natural England (Flickr).

Find out more: The Mammal Society, Suffolk Wildlife Trust, People's Trust for Endangered Species, iNaturalist

Humpback Whale
an underwater picture of a humpback whale

Humpback Whale Megaptera novaeangliae 

Humpback whales are massive, growing to 17 metres in length. Their huge, dark bodies are flanked by enormous pectoral flippers growing up to around a third of their body length. They use their highly-manoeuvrable flippers for hunting by slapping the water and for swimming and even possibly regulating their body temperature. Image: Natural England/Rebecca Walker (Flickr).

Find out more: Whale and Dolphin Conservation, The Mammal Society, Suffolk Wildlife Trust, iNaturalist

Long-finned Pilot Whale
a pair of long-finned pilot whales on the sea surface

Long-finned Pilot Whale Globicephala melas 

As their name suggests, they have two very long flippers; they are crescent-shaped and have pointy tips. Adult pilot whales are black or dark grey and have a lighter grey saddle patch on the back behind the dorsal fin and an anchor-shaped patch on the underside. Image: John Bray (iNaturalist).

Find out more: Whale and Dolphin Conservation, The Mammal Society, iNaturalist

Minke Whale
an underwater picture of a minke whale

Minke Whale Balaenoptera acutorostrata

The common minke whale is the smallest of all baleen whales, reaching around 8 to 9 metres long. Their sleek, dark bodies parade black, dark brown and grey tones with a lighter belly that flashes through the water. Image: Mattia Valente (Flickr).

Find out more: Whale and Dolphin Conservation, The Mammal Society, Suffolk Wildlife TrustiNaturalist

Orca (Killer Whale)
a killer whale jumping out of the sea

Orca (Killer Whale) Orcinus orca 

There is a small group of orca who live in British waters. Orca's are the largest member of the dolphin family. Their black-and-white patterning works as a camouflage, from above and below. It breaks up their appearance and makes them harder to see in the water. Image: James Maughn (iNaturalist).

Find out more: Whale and Dolphin Conservation, The Mammal Society, Suffolk Wildlife TrustiNaturalist

Otter
an otter on a riverbank

Otter Lutra lutra

Brown fur, often pale on the underside; long slender body; small ears on a broad head; long thick tail; webbed feet; swims very low in the water, head and back barely showing. Image: Natural England/Allan Drewitt (Flickr).

Find out more: The Mammal Society, Suffolk Wildlife TrustiNaturalist

Polecat
a pair of polecats

Polecat Mustela putorius

Blackish guard hairs and yellow under fur on the body, giving ‘black and tan’ appearance; banded “bandit” face: pale muzzle, ear tips and ‘eyebrows,’ with a broad dark band around the eyes; darker legs and belly, short fluffy tail; is the size of a ferret. Image: Helen Haden (Flickr).

Find out more: The Mammal Society, Suffolk Wildlife TrustiNaturalist

Red Squirrel
a red squirrel sitting on a tree branch nibbling a nut

Red Squirrel Sciurus vulgaris

Now considered to be extinct in Suffolk. Fur colour variable from bright ginger through to red and dark brown or black tinged with grey in winter; larger ear tufts in mid-winter which disappear by the summer; bushy tail which bleaches white by late summer in some individuals. Image: Natural England/Allan Drewitt (Flickr).

Find out more: The Mammal Society, Suffolk Wildlife Trust, iNaturalist

Striped Dolphin
a striped dolphin jumping out of the sea

Striped Dolphin Stenella coeruleoalba 

Striped dolphins are relatively small, streamlined and colourful. As the name suggests, the most recognisable features are the ‘stripes’. A dark grey stripe runs from the beak, above the eye, across the flank and then down to the underside of the body. A second stripe runs below the eye to the pectoral flipper. Image: Alexandre Roux (Flickr).

Find out more: Whale and Dolphin Conservation, The Mammal Society, iNaturalist

Water Shrew
a water shrew on a stream bank

Water Shrew Neomys fodiens

Suffolk Priority Species. The water shrew is the largest of Britain’s shrews. They have a long pointed snout, small ears, and tiny eyes. The fur is short, dense, velvety and jet black on the upper surface of the body, and usually greyish white/ yellowish underneath. Most have a tuft of white hairs on ears and white hairs around eyes. Distinctive stiff white hairs on the margins of the feet, and underside of the tail forming a keel. Image: Charlie Marshall (Flickr).

Find out more: The Mammal Society, Suffolk Wildlife TrustiNaturalist

Water Vole
a water vole peeping out from between some reed stems

Water Vole Arvicola amphibius 

Water voles occur mainly along well-vegetated banks of slow-flowing rivers, ditches, dykes and lakes. They are rat-sized with blunt nose; dark chestnut-brown to black fur; short rounded ears; hair-covered tail, which is about half length of head and body. Image: Margaret Holland (Flickr).

Find out more: The Mammal Society, Suffolk Wildlife Trust, The People's Trust for Endangered Species,  iNaturalist

White-beaked Dolphin
A white-beaked dolphin jumps out of the sea

White-beaked Dolphin Lagenorhynchus albirostris

Not all white-beaked dolphins have a white beak. Their predominant colouration is black with lighter grey and white swathes along the flanks and their belly, cheeks and throat are also white. The dorsal fin of a white-beaked dolphin is larger than you might expect and the flippers are broad and pointed and almost 20% of the total body length. Image: Natural England/Rebecca Walker (Flickr).

Find out more: Whale and Dolphin Conservation, The Mammal Society, iNaturalist



The SBRC organised a County Mammal Survey, which started on 1st Jan 1990. The aim was to establish the status and distribution of all mammals in the County and to publish the results as an Atlas and History in the SNS series. Over 38,000 records were computerised. The Mammals of Suffolk was published jointly by SNS and SWT in 2009. Since then, a major survey of Suffolk's Hedgehogs has added over 7,000 records and the total mammal records on the SBIS Database is now over 72,000

Suffolk Mammal Group was set up by Suffolk Wildlife Trust to coordinate and encourage studies and surveys of mammals in the county. The Suffolk Bat Group has collected information on bats in the County since 1985. Other projects include surveys of Dormice, Hedgehogs and Harvest Mice. Otters have been surveyed at irregular intervals by the Otter Trust and they have also released animals at selected sites. A major survey of otters, water voles and mink was run by SWT and the Environment Agency and records were added to the SBIS system.

MAFF collected data on various mammals including Coypu, Hares and Rabbits, Badgers and on-road casualties. Local Council Environmental Health Departments have information on pest species such as Rats and Mice though this is not always to species level.


Major Publications

The Mammals of Suffolk. Ticehurst & Andrews, H. 1932 TSNS 2: 13


The Suffolk Otter Survey. West, R. B. 1974 TSNS 16: 378


A survey of the distribution of deer in Suffolk. Cham, S. A. (1984) TSNS 20:10


The Mammals of Suffolk. Ticehurst & Andrews, H. 1932 TSNS 2: 13.
Provisional Atlases of Suffolk Mammals. 1993 (1st ed.) - 1998 (5th ed.). SBRC
A survey of the distribution of deer in Suffolk. Cham, S. A. (1984) TSNS 20:10.
Suffolk Dormouse Survey. 1986 J. Roughton SWT.
The Mammals of Suffolk. 2009. S. Bullion. SWT/SNS

Suffolk Bat Group produce regular newsletters and an annual report.

Other papers from Suffolk Natural History

Otter diet along the upper Little Ouse. R. Langston & A. Rivett (2020)
Grey Squirrel - a retraction. P. Lack (2020)
Mammal Recorder’s Report 2018. S. Bullion (2018)
Can Hazel Dormouse habitat be quantified by nesting behaviour? The influence of vegetation diversity and structure. H. Jackson (2017)
The Mammals of Suffolk: eight years on. S. Bullion (2016)
Monitoring the return of the Polecat to the ‘Far East’. Johnny Birks (2015)
Tracking down Suffolk’s Hazel Dormice: 15 years of detective work. Simone Bullion (2015)
A Water Vole Species Recovery Plan for the Eastern Region. Darren Tansley (2015)
The Hedgehog’s plight. Pat Morris (2015)
Too many deer in the woods? Implications for birds and other wildlife - a synopsis. Rob Fuller (2015)
Long term monitoring of bat boxes in Thetford Forest Park. A. Collins, A. Rivett & S. Hooton (2015)
Update on Polecats in Suffolk. S. Bullion (2015)
A very early record of Grey Squirrel in Suffolk. P. Lack (2015)
Report from the Mammal Recorder. S. Bullion (2014)
Suffolk Bats 2013. A. Miller (2014)
Two-Mile Bottom Bat Hibernaculum - from Folly to Fantasy. N. Gibbons (2013)
The distribution and status of Fallow Deer in Suffolk, with particular reference to the south-west. J. R. Martin (2012)
The long awaited return of the Polecat to Suffolk. J. R. Martin (2010)
Observations of hedgehogs Erinaceus europaeus in an Ipswich garden, June and July 2008. R. G. Stewart (2010)
Stoat climbing a tree. R. G. Stewart (2010)
The Brown Hare population at Orford Ness in June 2005 and 2006. S. Warrington & D. Cormack (2006)
Ermine Stoats in Suffolk. Martin, J.R. (1996)
Deer: corrections and update. Chapman, N.G. (1995)
Past and present status of the Yellow-necked Mouse. Martin, J.R. (1993)
Desperately seeking ... Water shrew (Neomys fodiens) and Harvest mouse (Micromys minutus) in Broadland. Jowitt, A.J.D. & Perrow, M.R. (1993)
Chinese water deer: more records. Chapman, N.G. (1992)
The small mammals of drainage ditches - the influence of structure. Perrow, M.R., Peet, N. & Jowitt, A. (1992)
Sika deer - new to Suffolk, 1988. C.R. Naunton (1991)
Suffolk's first Striped Dolphin, Stenella coeruleoalba (Meyen) and second Fin Whale, Balaenoptera physalus (Linnaeus). H. Mendel & D.J. Lampard (1991)
Otters in East Anglia. Rowena Jessop (1991)
Chinese Water-deer at Minsmere, 1989. Macklin, R. N. (1990)
Whale in the Stour. Mendel, H. (1989) p 98
Great Glemham mammals in the 1920s. Cranbrook, Earl of (1989)
A whale in the River Stour. Mendel, H. (1988)
Stoat in ermine. Moore, D.R. (1988) p 99
Stoats in ermine. Jakes, C.J. (1987) p 70
Timber treatments and bats. Racey, P.A. (1986)
Dormice in Suffolk. Roughton, J. (1986) p 70
Monstrous fishes. Mendel, H. (1986) p 71
Swimming squirrel. Moore, D. R. (1984) p 37
The central North Sea-a possible breeding locality for the Common Porpoise-Phocoena phocoena Linnaeus. Quinn, P. (1984)
Grey seal. Quinn, P. p 370
Unusual colouration of Suffolk stoat. Andrews, R. (1983) p 394
Additions to the Suffolk Marine Fauna List. Hughes, R.G. & Quinn, P. (1983)
A tale of two whales. Quinn, P. (1983)
The harvest mouse in Suffolk in 1978. Naunton, C.R. (1979)
The Otter in Suffolk. Cranbrook, Earl of (1978)
A Suffolk plan for otter conservation. Cranbrook, Earl of (1977)
Behaviour of a Bat Flying Over Water. Cranbrook, Earl of (1976)
The Suffolk Otter Survey. West, R.B.
The Suffolk Otter Survey. West, R.B. & Nicholson, P.
A Stoat goes Supperless. Last, A.J.
Distribution of Deer in Suffolk, Part 2. Cranbrook, Earl of & Payn, W.H.
Distribution of Deer in Suffolk. Cranbrook, Earl of & Payn, W.H.
Counts of Animal Corpses on East Suffolk Roads. Nicholson, P.
Mammal Records. Cranbrook, Earl of
Some Observations on Foxes. Burke, N.
Brown Hares (Lepus europaeus) on Orford Beach, 1964-6. White, D.A.
Preliminary Survey of Mammals at Lopham and Redgrave Fens. Fielding, D.
Neglect of Echolocation by a Noctule Bat feeding in captivity. Cranbrook, Earl of
Mammal Society’s National Distribution Scheme. Cranbrook, Earl of
Squirrel Survey 1963-1964. Cranbrook, Earl of & Payn, W.H.
Notes on a Foraging Group of Serotine Bats. Cranbrook, Earl of
Noctule Bats Feeding on Summer Chafers. White, D.A.
Some Observations on the Badger. Burke, N.
Notes on the Behaviour of a Hibernating Noctule (Nyctalus noctula). Cranbrook, Earl of
Parasites from Mammals in Suffolk. Hutson, A.M.
Enterprising Stoats. Harrison, R.A.
Noctule Bats feeding on Cockchafers. Barrett, H.G. & Cranbrook, Earl of
Pipistrelles-Yellow Necked Mouse-Fox-Stoats and Weasels-Grey Seals-Common Seal Notes
Coypu (Myocastor coypus) at Minsmere during the Frost of January and February, 1963. Axell, H.E.
Coypu (Myocastor coypus) at Minsmere Bird Reserve. Axell, H.E.
Squirrel Survey. Aston, A.E.
The Flight of Noctule and Pipistrelle Bats Compared. Barrett, H.G. & Cranbrook, Earl of
Records of Bat Parasites from West Suffolk. Thompson, G.B.
A Feeding Population of Pipistrelle Bats. Lovett, W.V.
Folding of the Ears of a Long Eared Bat (Plecotus auritus). Cranbrook, Earl of
Birth of a Serotine Bat (Eptesicus serotinus, Schreber) in Captivity. Cranbrook, Earl of
Roosting Preferences of a Whiskered Bat. Cranbrook, Earl of
Feeding Habits of Noctule Bats. Cranbrook, Earl of
Notes on the Feeding Habits of the Long-Eared Bat. Cranbrook, Earl of
Observing a Mole. Cranbrook, Earl of
The Yellow Necked Field Mouse at Stowmarket. Thurlow, W.G.
Notes on the Coypu. St. J. Bame, M.E.
Of Mice and Parasites. Griffith, G.
Myxomatosis in Suffolk, 1956. Haslam, S. & Newell, W.H.
Notes on Tapeworm from Yellow-necked Field Mouse. Prudhoe, S.
Mammals of S.W. Suffolk. Payn, W.H.
Distribution of Yellow-necked Mouse. Chandler, N. & Heffer, A.
Myxomatosis in East Suffolk. Haslam, I. & Newell, N.W.
Two Rannies. Downing, P.
Chest-spot on Long-tailed Field Mouse. Cranbrook, Earl of
Young Field Voles from Birth to Weaning. Cranbrook, Earl of
Mouse Research in Suffolk. Crowcroft, W.P.
Suffolk Badgers. Cranbrook, Lord
Mammals on Havergate Island. Brownlow, H.G.
Mammals. Cranbrook, Lord
The Coypu. Trist, P.J.O.
On Bats in West Suffolk. Gilbert, O.
The English Black Rat as Disseminator of Disease. Taylor, M.R.
The Mammals of Suffolk. Ticehurst & Andrews, H.
Jottings about our Mammals. Andrews H.


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