Native Species

At Knowsley Safari, it’s not just about the exotic and iconic animals from around the world. Britain has a diverse and varied landscape that is home to fantastic plants and wildlife.

Knowsley safari sits within 2500 acres of ancient woodland, large pastures, lakes and ponds. The Knowsley estate is home to some very important wildlife, plants and tree species; critical habitat within the local urban area.

Native Wildlife Monitoring Teams

To better understand the wildlife that call Knowsley Safari home, we introduced monitoring teams. Throughout the year, surveys are undertaken in various habitats to identify what species of bat, bird, amphibian and small mammals are living at Knowsley Safari. This work is mainly carried out by staff at the safari park with support and guidance from experts in the relevant species.

Our guests also enjoy taking part in monitoring native wildlife. Throughout the year we host bat walks, small mammal monitoring events and an annual Bioblitz. The Bioblitz is a 24 hour period where we enlist the help of experts, staff and visitors to Knowsley Safari in counting as many species as possible.

Research & Education

With such rich biodiversity within a predominantly urban area, Knowsley Safari offers valuable research opportunities to the nearby universities. New technology that can assist conservationists in monitoring wildlife has been developed and tested at Knowsley Safari. From state of the art bat detection to drones that combine astrophysics with ecology to see beneath the tree canopy and count rhino. We’re lucky to be involved at the beginning of projects that have the potential to become exciting advances in conservation science.

We monitor and record the native birds visiting the safari park. Each season is different! We work with local bird experts to help us spot and hear different species around the park. Head down to our Wild Trail to hear the birds singing from the treetops or swooping over the Mizzy Lake.

Red squirrels were once widespread across the whole of the UK however the loss of suitable pine forest habitats and the introduction of the Grey squirrel in the late 1870’s have significantly reduced numbers to small, fragmented populations. Within Merseyside, red squirrels still remain along the Sefton coastline and surrounding areas including the grounds of the Knowsley Estate. In association with Lancashire Wildlife Trust, we are working to create a safehaven for the native red squirrels that still remain in this area through research into disease prevention and grey control, habitat management and long-term population monitoring. More information about the Red Squirrel project can be found here.

Over the past century, UK bat populations have declined due to human disturbance, lack of food sources, and habitat loss. With assistance from the Merseyside & West Lancashire Bat Group, we have discovered a number of regionally important species that live within the Knowsley Estate and utilise the range of resources we have here using a range of bat recording devices and equipment. As part of our long-term bat population monitoring project excitingly in 2013 we trialled a new detector which identified the calls of the Nathusius’ pipistrelle, a rarely recorded species in the UK. To find out how to join the Merseyside & West Lancashire Bat Group click here

In association with experts from the Merseyside & West Lancashire Mammal Group, we also undertake population monitoring of small native mammals across the Estate, in order to learn more about their distribution and establish how we can support populations of vulnerable species such as Hedgehogs, Voles, Mice and Brown Hares.

Submit your sightings!

We would love to hear about the native species found living in your area – why not drop by our Facebook or Twitter page and upload a photo!

If you haven’t already, make sure you upload your findings to the Merseyside BioBank as your data will help to identify wildlife hotspots and assist with wider biodiversity conservation.