Ireland – Future destinations

A small European country, which is an island, close to Great Britain (a collection of northern provinces are still part of the UK). From a wildlife point of view, the number of extinct species is large. Wolves bears and Lynx are all extinct, and as a small island it is unlikely that in the current state, is capable of reintroducing them.

There are other aspects of the island which are good for wildlife. The seas around the coasts are incredibly busy with wildlife. While the number of whales is well below what would have been historically been present, there are many that live in these areas. Having said this, there are still species that are rare visitors. As much as 25 species are seen from time to time. These range from Minkes, which are common (they are the smallest of the great whales (though can still weigh up to 10 tonnes). Other species include Humpback whales, fin whales, as well as common bottle-nose and short-beaked dolphins, as well as harbour porpoises.

Rarer whales include long-finned pilot whale, Blue whale, Sei whale, Sperm whale, Northern bottle-nosed whale, Cuviers whale and Sowersby beaked whale.

Killer whales are also seen with relatively regularity as well.

There are other far rarer species of whale (False killer whale, True beaked whale, Gervais beaked whale, Dwarf sperm whale, Pygmy sperm whale, Beluga, Bowhead whale, Blainvilles beaked whale and the North-Atlantic right whale). The last of these was hunted very close to extinction, and while the Southern right whale has rebounded nicely (though still far from historical numbers) has done far better. There are only 350 of these whales left, their name, like the southern right whale is unfortunately because they are so good to hunt – they have a lot of oil in their body, they swim slowly and float when dead.

Specific destinations in Ireland

See Animals Wild