Wildlife & Habitats

South Downs Species

The National Park is home to a large variety of wildlife including species such as burnt orchid, round-headed rampion, otter, skylark, barn owl and brown trout. You can also find less well-known species such as the barbastelle bat, the chalk carpet moth and sundew (a carnivorous plant).

Many of the species found in the National Park are rare and are only found in the South Downs National Park. For example, the greater mouse-eared bat has only been recorded in the National Park and Bognor Regis in recent years. The last known British colony disappeared in 1985.  However a single male was discovered in the National Park in 2002 and has been recorded at the same location every year since.

Rare species are often only found in habitats which are also rare. The numbers of some species, like the Adonis blue butterfly, have recently started to rise as a result of conservation efforts and better land management. Some species are also actually doing better as a result of climate change as they are able to move into new habitats that otherwise would not be suitable for them – the silver-spotted skipper butterfly is a good example of this.

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