Mammals

 

Mammals of Wicklow Mountains National Park

The following species are found within the Park. For more information, follow the links to each species.

English

Irish

Latin

Insect Eaters

Hedgehog

Gráinneog

Erinaceus europaeus

Pygmy Shrew

Dallóg Fhraoigh

Sorex minutus

Bats

Whiskered Bat

Ialtóg Ghiobach

Myotis mystacinus

Natterer's Bat

Ialtóg Natterer

Myotis nattereri

Daubenton's Bat

Ialtóg Dhaubenton

Myotis daubentonii

Leisler's Bat

Ialtóg Leisler

Nyctalus leisleri

Common Pipistrelle

Ialtóg fheaserach

Pipistrellus pipistrellus

Soprano Pipistrelle

Ialtóg Fheaserach Sopránach

Pipistrellus pygmaeus

Nathusius' Pipistrelle

Ialtóg Nathusius

Pipistrellus nathusii

Brown Long-eared Bat

Ialtóg Chluasach

Plecotus auritus

Brandt's Bat

Ialtóg Brandt

Myotis brandtii

Hares and Rabbits

Rabbit

Coinín

Oryctolagus cuniculus

Irish (Mountain) Hare

Giorra

Lepus timidicus hibernicus

Rodents

Red Squirrel

Iora Rua

Sciurus vulgaris

Grey Squirrel

Iora Glas

Sciurus carolinensis

Wood Mouse

Luch Fhéir

Apodemus sylvaticus

House Mouse

Luch Thí

Mus musculus

Brown Rat

Francach Donn

Rattus norvegicus

Cat-like and Dog-like Mammals

Red Fox

Sionnach/Madra Rua

Vulpes vulpes

Pine Marten

Cat Crainn

Martes martes

Irish Stoat

Easóg

Mustela erminea hibernica

Mink

Minc Mheiriceánach

Mustela vison

Badger

Broc

Meles meles

Otter

Madra Uisce

Lutra lutra

Even-hoofed Mammals

Red Deer

Fia Rua

Cervus elaphus

Sika Deer

Fia Seapanách

Cervus nippon

Fallow Deer Fia BuĂ­ Dama dama

Feral Goat

Gabhar Fia

Capra hircus

 

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.

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.

Watching Mammals in the National Park

You may not see many mammals during your time in Wicklow Mountains National Park. Most are nocturnal; some are small, shy and retiring; and some are very rare. Others are much more noticeable, like the deer and goats that wander the hills and valleys. You are more likely in most cases to see signs of mammals: snuffle holes on the lawns made by badgers, chewed pine cones and split hazel shells by red squirrels, feathers that are the remains of a fox’s dinner. If you tread quietly, and look and listen carefully, you might be lucky. And if you do encounter any wild animals, don’t disturb them; watch them from a distance and allow them to make their own way. Enjoy!

 

National Parks & Wildlife Service, 7 Ely Place, Dublin 2. Phone: +353 1 8882000 Fax: +353 1 8883272