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Wicklow Mountains National Park

Mammals


The Park has most of the mammal species that are found inland in Ireland. Some are easier to find than others. One of the mammals you are most likely to see on a visit to the Park is the Wild Goat grazing in small herds in the Glendalough valley. Deer are easily found in the upper open areas, where you'll also come across the fast moving Mountain Hare. Rabbits are found at lower, drier altitudes where they can find suitable soil to burrow in. Red Squirrels can be seen scrambling in the stands of pine trees and the Grey Squirrel is now also establishing a presence. At night time the bats take over from the birds. The more difficult to spot mammals include the Pine Marten up in the trees and the Otter in the rivers and lakes but keep your eyes peeled and you may be fortunate!

Native vs. Introduced

The mammals can be put into two groups according to whether they are native or introduced. Not all the mammals living in the Park made it here by themselves. Some were introduced by man and are breeding successfully within the Park, sometimes to the detriment of the native inhabitants. For example, the introduced Grey Squirrel is threatening to push out the native Red Squirrel. The introduced Japanese Sika Deer interbreeds with the native Red Deer. There are now no pure bred Red Deer in the Wicklow Mountains.

Extinctions

There are also mammals that would have once lived in the mountains before the Park was established but are now extinct. Some species have died out as a result of natural changes in the environment such as the Giant Irish Deer or Irish Elk (Megaloceros giganteus). Man, however, exterminated the Wolf (Canis lupus), leaving no natural predator to control the population of herbivores. The mammals that survive in the Park are those that have successful strategies for coexisting with Man. They are generally nervous of the presence of humans and hide. Some animals such as the Badger only come out at night.

Conservation

In the event of a threat to the wildlife in the Park, active conservation measures are taken to protect the overall integrity of the ecology of the uplands. Due to the lack of a natural predator the goats and deer of the Park have to be culled to prevent overgrazing within the Park's important woodlands. Hunting by the general public is not permitted.

Legal Protection

Any management of the mammal populations within the Park is subject to the provisions of the Wildlife Acts 1976 and 2000. Some species that are rare in Europe also receive special protection under European Law. One such animal is the Otter. The Park and most of the Wicklow Mountains have been designated a Special Area of Conservation for the Otter.

Names

EnglishIrishLatin
Insect Eaters
Hedgehog..»GráinneogErinaceus europaeus
Pygmy ShrewDallóg FhraoighSorex minutus
Bats
Whiskered BatIaltóg GhiobachMyotis mystacinus
Natterer's BatIaltóg NattererMyotis nattereri
Daubenton's BatIaltóg DhaubentonMyotis daubentonii
Leisler's BatIaltóg LeislerNyctalus leisleri
Common PipistrelleIaltóg fheaserachPipistrellus pipistrellus
Soprano Pipistrelle..»Ialtóg Fheaserach SopránachPipistrellus pygmaeus
Nathusius' PipistrelleIaltóg NathusiusPipistrellus nathusii
Brown Long-eared BatIaltóg ChluasachPlecotus auritus
Brandt's BatIaltóg BrandtMyotis brandtii
Hares and Rabbits
Rabbit..»CoinínOryctolagus cuniculus
Mountain (Irish) Hare..»GiorraLepus timidicus hibernicus
Rodents
Red Squirrel..»Iora RuaSciurus vulgaris
Grey Squirrel..»Iora GlasSciurus carolinensis
WoodmouseLuch FhéirApodemus sylvaticus
House MouseLuch ThíMus musculus
Brown RatFrancach DonnRattus norvegicus
Cat-like and Dog-like Mammals
Fox..»Sionnach/Madra RuaVulpes vulpes
Pine MartenCat CrainnMartes martes
StoatEasógMustela erminea
MinkMinc MheiriceánachMustela vison
Badger..»BrocMeles meles
OtterMadra UisceLutra lutra
Even-hoofed Mammals
Red DeerFia RuaCervus elaphus
Sika DeerFia SeapanáchCervus nippon
Feral Goat..»Gabhar FiaCapra hircus




Badger
Badger..»


What is a Mammal?

Mammals have two unique features. The first is their ability to nurse their young with milk produced by the mother. The other is that their young are all born with a covering of hair. Ocean going whales, tiny flying bats, playful otters and hyperactive shrews to name but a few all share these features making them all mammals.


Mountain (Irish) Hare
Hare..»


Bats

A third of all the Park's mammals are bats. Learn more about them here..»



Hedgehog
Hedgehog..»