Badger (Meles meles)

The Badger is the largest Irish member of the mustelid or weasel family and is one of our most distinctive mammals. Its stocky body, short, powerful limbs and striking black-and-white head markings make the badger unmistakeable. Adult badgers are typically 65-80 cm (25-32 inches) long and weigh between 8 and 12 kilos (17 and 27 […]

Bottlenose Dolphin (Tursiops truncates)

Of the 24 species of whales and dolphins found in Irish waters perhaps the best known is the familiar bottlenose dolphin made famous in the ‘60s television show, Flipper. Almost all of the dolphin stars of film and television over the years, and the captive performing dolphins in theme parks around the world, are bottlenose […]

Brown Long-Eared Bat (Plecotus auritus)

The brown long-eared bat is one of the most common of our nine recorded bat species and is found all over Ireland. As night falls, these remarkable little mammals emerge from their daytime roosts to feed on a wide variety of nocturnal insects. As the name implies, long-eared bats have strikingly long ears… almost ¾ […]

Common Dolphin (Delphinus delphis)

The common dolphin is regularly encountered around the Irish coast. As its name suggests this is one of the most abundant and widely distributed dolphin species in the world, and occurs in all tropical, sub-tropical and temperate waters with average surface temperatures above 10°C. They are often seen in large schools that can consist of […]

European Rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus)

Originally from south-west Europe and north-west Africa, Rabbits were introduced into Ireland by the Normans way back in the 12th century AD. They were kept in enclosed warrens and were used as a source of sport for Norman noblemen as well as exploited as a source of both meat and fur. Naturally enough some of […]

Fin Whale (Balaenoptera physalus)

Fin whales are regular visitors to Ireland’s coastal waters and can sometimes be spotted from coastal promontories especially in the south west of the country. These spectacular animals are the second largest creatures on earth. With a maximum length of 24 metres (80 feet) and an estimated maximum weight approaching 80 tonnes, only the rarely […]

Grey Seal (Halichoerus grypus)

When it was made the world’s first officially protected species in 1914 the future looked bleak for the grey seal. The turnaround since then represents perhaps the most successful conservation story in history, and offers hope that efforts to save many of our endangered species may not be in vain. Since their protection grey seal […]

Harbour porpoise (Phocoena phocoena)

Reaching a maximum length of around 1.9 metres, the diminutive harbour porpoise (also known as the common porpoise) is Ireland’s smallest cetacean species and our only species of porpoise. Found right around the Irish coastline, it is one of the most widely distributed cetaceans (whales and dolphins) in the northern hemisphere. Average sizes are smaller, with […]

Hedgehog (Erinaceus europaeus)

Reports suggest that the earliest record of hedgehogs in Ireland stem from County Waterford at around the time that the Normans arrived in the 13th century. However and whenever these endearing little mammals arrived they have certainly become a firmly established native and something of a favourite with people. Hedgehogs are 15-30 cm (6-12 inches) […]

Humpback Whale (Megaptera novaeangliae)

Humpback whales are regular visitors to Ireland’s south and east coasts. These magnificent whales begin to appear around early September each year, and spend several months in the area before moving on to their winter breeding grounds. They are also occasionally sighted elsewhere around the Irish coast. Adult humpbacks are large, thick-set whales that typically […]

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