Natural England - Exotic animals

Exotic animals

Reporting sightings of exotic animals.

It is widely recognised that invasive non-native species pose one of the greatest threats to biodiversity world-wide and that they can have substantial economic, as well as ecological impacts.

You can find further information on the GB non-native species secretariatexternal link website, including the Invasive Non-Native Species Framework Strategy for Great Britainexternal link which aims to minimise the risks and impacts caused by invasive non-native species through the three-stage approach of prevention, detection/surveillance, and control/eradication. Prevention, and early detection are usually the most effective options.

Evidence reported by the general public is a valued contribution to ongoing surveillance to detect occurrence of new species or their spread into new areas.

Sightings or other records of exotic species can be reported on the Biological Records Centre iRecord systemexternal link or sent directly to Natural England.

To submit reports to Natural England please email details to If you would like to discuss the evidence with one of our advisory staff or send reports by post please contact us.

If reporting to Natural England, the key details to include are:

  1. Type of animal (e.g. raccoon, sacred ibis etc)
  2. Description of animal (e.g. colour, size, and any other identifying features)
  3. Type of evidence (e.g. visual, tracks or other indirect signs)
  4. Date observed
  5. Location (as precise as possible please)
  6. Number of animals observed, or inferred from signs
  7. Comments on behaviour or activity of animal
  8. Your contact details (in some cases we may wish to contact you to further discuss details of the evidence)

Natural England staff do not normally carry out site visits in relation to exotic species reports, but field enquiries may be considered in exceptional circumstances. Please note that any threat to human life should be reported to the police.

See data of exotics: (358kb)pdf document reported to us since 2001.