Our Wildlife Success Story of the Year shortlist, compiled by BBC Wildlife Magazine.
The otter’s recovery continues, due to a decline in water pollution and persecution and thanks to river and wetland restoration. It is fast re-colonising former lowland haunts from which it had long vanished.
Riding high in Scotland’s Highlands and islands after one of the most successful reintroduction schemes of recent decades. This year is the 30th anniversary of the first successful breeding by reintroduced birds.
In 2014 this species showed evidence of recovery, expanding its range in Cumbria, Northumberland and the Scottish Highlands. Huge efforts have been made to control non-native greys and there are signs that some red squirrels in Lancashire are developing immunity to the deadly ‘pox’ transmitted by greys.
Survey data from the National Dormouse Monitoring Programme suggests that this handsome rodent (left) has at last turned the corner in Britain – and in some areas, such as Kent, may even be thriving.
LARGE BLUE BUTTERFLY
This gorgeous insect became extinct in Britain in 1979 and, due to its complex life-cycle and habitat requirements, its reintroduction has been fiendishly complex. Large blues are now thriving at a handful of grassland sites in the South West.