You don’t have to go to such extremes to spot amazing wildlife off our coasts. Contact the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group for details of whale and dolphin watching trips or any of the guides who offer guided tours of our marine wildlife
Ireland is home to 28 species of land mammal and over 400 kinds of bird. Some species have been hit by global warming and other environmental changes, but others, like the woodpecker, have grown in numbers, or, like the golden eagle, are being reintroduced. See birds of prey in action at the National Raptor Centre, take a bat walk, discover Ireland’s only herd of native red deer in Killarney National Park, or simply keep an eye out for fauna such as wild goats, hares, rabbits, foxes, badgers, frogs, hawks, and owls as you wander the countryside: visit www.noticenature.ie for more info.
Ireland is also full of interesting flora, some creating colourful hedgerows, such as the fuchsia in west Cork or the gorse on the Wicklow Mountains, others, like nettles, elderflowers, hawthorns and sloes are still being used as food and remedies. The Burren’s unique landscape contains an amazing 70 per cent of Irish native species – including orchids – while the boglands and sand dunes also provide distinct habitats for a variety of plants.
For more information, go to the National Parks and Wildlife Service, and the Irish Wildlife Trust.