The Scapa Flow area supports an incredible range of species of wildlife, thanks to its great diversity of coastal, marine, freshwater, lowland and upland habitats. If a list was totalled up of all the different species of wildlife, from birds and mammals, flowers and seaweeds to insects and starfish, then this would undoubtedly stretch into the tens of thousands. Quite a biodiversity hotspot.
This website does its best to provide an introduction to the range of species to be found. Each habitat description in the separate Habitats section of this website mentions a range of species. This Wildlife section summarises the range of species by the main classications of the nautral world.
The classification of species of the natural world has been a subject of much debate since the time of the Greeks, with the modern classification of life having its principal origins in the 18th Century work of Carolus Linnaeus of Sweden.
As far as this website goes, it does not consider bacteria, viruses and the many unicellular lifeforms known as protists to be 'real wildlife'. In order to give some order to the tens of thousands of 'proper wildlife' species, the following classification has been adopted:
- Animals - including birds, mammals, amphibians, fish and invertebrates
- Fungi - from rusts and moulds to the familiar toadstools
- Plants - including flowers, mosses, liverworts, freshwater algae, seaweeds and lichens