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The New Forest contains a large habitat diversity enabling a large number of plants and animals to be found. Of the 2250 species of butterflies and moths found in Britain, at least 1234 occur in the Forest. There are over 3240 British species of beetles with at least 1539 known in The Forest. There are 33 species of native grasshoppers, crickets and at least 22 occur in The Forest.
The Forest supports nearly all the native reptiles and amphibia along with large populations of woodland insectivorous birds and those specialised to heathlands. At least 46 species of plants which are nationally or internationally rare occur in the New Forest and for many it is their only, or most important, remaining British locality.