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What’s your favourite mammal? Scientists want to find out

PUBLISHED: 10:45 11 October 2016 | UPDATED: 10:45 11 October 2016

Water Vole    Picture: Philip Braude and the Mammal Society

Water Vole Picture: Philip Braude and the Mammal Society

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A poll has been launched to find the UK’s favourite mammal

A competition has been launched to find the UK’s favourite mammal as part of a drive to preserve some of the species most under threat.

A total of 101 mammal species can be found in and around the UK, including much-loved creatures such as the water vole and red squirrel, but nearly two-thirds have sufferd a decline in the past 50 years.

To coincide with the fifth annual Biology Week, the Royal Society of Biology is asking people to vote for their favourite.

Professor David Macdonald, director of the Wildlife Conservation Research Unit at The University of Oxford, said: “Mammals are special! Not only are we one of them, but their appeal and charisma make them powerful ambassadors for nature.

“Most of the UK’s big mammals such as wolves and lynx have gone, and while we procrastinate on bringing them back, we should celebrate the 101 that remain. They are beset by all the global threats to wildlife; from disease afflicting red squirrels, hybridisation diluting wildcats to oblivion, habitat loss and invasive species blighting water voles.

“Whether it’s in air, sea, river, land or burrow there’s a mammal to suit your tastes – but which do you prefer as your personal flagship? That’s what the RSB poll seeks to find out.”

To vote for your favourite, visit the Royal Society of Biology website at www.rsb.org.uk/UKMammalPoll

Voting ends on October 30.

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