Wildlife in Ireland

July 28, 2017 by
Alex hiking in Connemara
POSTED BY July 28, 2017

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When you think of the Emerald Isle, the wildlife in Ireland probably isn’t the first thing that comes to mind. Rolling hills, fields of green and Guinness are generally the most common preconceptions. The wildlife in Ireland is just as impressive and authentic so it’s definitely worth keeping an eye out once you’re here!

The Irish Wildlife Trust do a lot to help with the conservation of wildlife in Ireland.

Wildlife in Ireland

On Land

As sea levels rose due to the Ice Ages, Ireland became increasingly isolated from the rest of Europe. This means that today there are just 26 species of mammals which are native to Ireland.

Irish hares can commonly be seen dashing across the karst limestone landscape of the Burren. It’s also not uncommon to see red foxes lurking around cities at night.

Herds of deer can be seen in Phoenix Park in Dublin, as well as Killarney National Park in Kerry. Wild deer can also be seen elsewhere in Ireland, however in much smaller herds.

Stoats, otters and pine martens are a large part of the wildlife in Ireland, being regular visitors to the countryside.

The only native reptile to Ireland is the viviparous lizard which can often be seen sunbathing on the heat-retaining rocks of the Burren.

Brown bears once roamed around Ireland, with evidence of their existence found in Ailwee Cave in the Burren (as well as other places).

In The Sea

The seas are teeming with wildlife in Ireland, with so much variety to be seen.

Dolphins are commonly spotted around the coast of Ireland, with the most famous one being Fungi in Dingle.

Killer whales have been known to make an appearance, while there are five species of sea turtle who reside in the waters surrounding Ireland.

Large colonies of seals can be found too, with a notable one on Inisboffin off the west coast.

In The Air

Blackbirds, wrens and robins are all very common in Ireland. These, as well as the starling, can be seen regularly and plentifully.

The golden eagle has recently been reintroduced into parts of Donegal and the north of Ireland.

Plant life in Ireland

There are approximately 900 native species of plant life in Ireland, with over 70% of these residing in the Burren.

Considering the Burren covers just 0.5% of the land area of Ireland, this is quite a substantial figure.

The Burren

The Burren

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