In Africa the big 5 is famous, what is the UK’s equivalent

Apart from b the big 5 and ecotourism big 7 there are a whole host of 5s that have been invented-some are relatively easy, others almost impossible

Big 5: lion leopard elephant rhino buffalo

On safari the big five is often the animals people want to see the most. I’ve always found this slightly confusing as the big five term talks about the 5 animals most dangerous to hunt on foot. As the majority of these tourists are hunting not with a gun but a camera, and from a vehicle not on foot,I feel this emphasis should be put on these 5 animals. Still the term stick. People have tried to broaden the interest with a variety of other groups.

Ecotourism big 7: lion leopard buffalo elephant rhino, plus cheetah and wild dog

Connected with this is the eco tourism big 7, which ads in cheetah and wild dog. This is a more sensible gauge of a wild area, as you can reintroduce the big 5 into quite a small reserve. To have a healthy population of wild dogs and cheetah, requires a fully functioning ecosystem and therefore will give you a true wildlife Safari

Little five: lion ant, leopard tortoise, elephant shrew, rhino beetle and buffalo weaver.

One of the most interesting new groups, is the little 5. If looking in the right place, all of these animals are easy to see. However the elephant shrew or sengi is not something easy to see c&i have only seen skulls from long dead specimens.

The ugly 5: Wildebeest, warthog, vulture, hyena and marabou stork. Not particularly hard to find but still an interesting group of animals to see.

The shy 5: meerkat, aardvark, porcupine, aardwolf and the bat-eared fox. while there are variation on this, essentially these animals are easily disturbed, and apart from the meercat, are nocturnal so are active when most people have had to return to their campsite.

And finally the impossible 5: aardvark, Cape mountain leopard, pangolin, riverine rabbit and white lion (in the wild). You will notice that the aardvark appears in the shy and impossible list, but this is due to being both extremely shy and very rarely seen. Others on this list such as Cape leopard are very few in number, and shy so rarely seen by anyone. White lions are the result of recessive genes, so except in very small areas are basically impossible to see (similar to black leopards though these are rarer still).

During our recent time away, looking at wild animals in the UK and getting very lucky, started me wondering what the UK’s big five would be? I would certainly include boar, beaver and dolphin, the animals we spotted, but what would we close out the list with?

In terms of charismatic animals it would probably have to include otters and or Badgers. 

We also haven’t included any deer species. In Africa no antelope makes the list, but then they are easily seen whereas in the UK this is not the case with deer. Perhaps number 4 should be otter and number 5 deer?

Do suggest things in the comments below

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