List of mammals of Ireland facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts

This is a list of the 60 mammal species recorded in Ireland. A new Red List of Irish terrestrial mammals was published in 2009 and all 26 terrestrial species native to Ireland, or naturalised in Ireland before 1500, were assessed. Of these, one was found to be regionally extinct (grey wolf Canis lupus), one achieved a threat status of Vulnerable (black rat Rattus rattus), three were found to be Near Threatened (Leisler's bat Nyctalus leisleri), otter (Lutra lutra) and red squirrel (Sciurus vulgaris)), one was data deficient (Brandt's bat Myotis brandtii) and the remaining 20 were of least concern.

The following tag are used to highlight each species' conservation status as assessed by the IUCN:

EX Extinct No reasonable doubt that the last individual has died.
EW Extinct in the wild Known only to survive in captivity or as a naturalized populations well outside its previous range.
RE Regionally Extinct The species is extinct in the wild in the region.
CR Critically Endangered The species is in imminent risk of extinction in the wild. At this point, action is taken to preserve the habitat.
EN Endangered The species is facing an extremely high risk of extinction in the wild.
VU Vulnerable The species is facing a high risk of extinction in the wild.
NT Near Threatened The species does not meet any of the criteria that would categorise it as risking extinction but it is likely to do so in the future.
LC Least Concern There are no current identifiable risks to the species.
DD Data Deficient There is inadequate information to make an assessment of the risks to this species.

Subclass: Theria

Infraclass: Eutheria

Order: Rodentia (rodents)

Rodents make up the largest order of mammals, with over 40 percent of mammalian species. They have two incisors in the upper and lower jaw which grow continually and must be keep short by gnawing. Most rodents are small though the capybara can weigh up to 45 kg (100 lb).

  • Suborder: Sciurognathi
    • Family: Sciuridae (squirrels)
      • Subfamily: Sciurinae
        • Genus: Sciurus
          • Red squirrel Sciurus vulgaris NT.
          • Eastern grey squirrel Sciurus carolinensis not assessed - a recent introduction in 1911.
    • Family: Cricetidae
      • Subfamily: Arvicolinae
        • Genus: Myodes
          • Bank vole Myodes glareolus not assessed - a recent introduction.
    • Family: Muridae (mice, rats, etc.)
      • Subfamily: Murinae
        • Genus: Mus
        • Genus: Apodemus
        • Genus: Rattus
          • Brown rat Rattus norvegicus - not assessed; post 1500 introduction.
          • Black rat Rattus rattus - VU; a very early (pre-1500) introduction.
    • Family: Gliridae
      • Subfamily: Leithiinae
        • Genus: Muscardinus
          • Hazel dormouse Muscardinus avellanarius - not assessed; a recent introduction (confirmed 2013).

Order: Lagomorpha (lagomorphs)

Kaninchen
European rabbit

The lagomorphs comprise two families, Leporidae (hares and rabbits), and Ochotonidae (pikas). Though they can resemble rodents, and were classified as a superfamily in that order until the early 20th century, they have since been considered a separate order. They differ from rodents in a number of physical characteristics, such as having four incisors in the upper jaw rather than two.

  • Family: Leporidae (rabbits, hares)
    • Genus: Oryctolagus
      • European rabbit Oryctolagus cuniculus LC - an early introduction c. 12th century.
    • Genus: Lepus
      • Irish hare Lepus timidus LC.
      • European hare Lepus europaeus - not assessed; recent introduction.

Order: Erinaceomorpha (hedgehogs and gymnures)

Igel01
West European hedgehog

The order Erinaceomorpha contains a single family, Erinaceidae, which comprise the hedgehogs and gymnures. The hedgehogs are easily recognised by their spines while gymnures look more like large rats.

  • Family: Erinaceidae (hedgehogs)
    • Subfamily: Erinaceinae
      • Genus: Erinaceus
        • West European hedgehog Erinaceus europaeus LC.

Order: Soricomorpha (shrews, moles, and solenodons)

Sorex minutus-1
Eurasian Pygmy Shrew

The "shrew-forms" are insectivorous mammals. The shrews and solenodons closely resemble mice while the moles are stout-bodied burrowers.

  • Family: Soricidae (shrews)
    • Subfamily: Soricinae
      • Genus: Sorex
        • Eurasian pygmy shrew Sorex minutus LC.
      • Genus: Crocidura
        • Greater white-toothed shrew Crocidura russula, not assessed, a very recent introduction.

Order: Chiroptera (bats)

Wasserfledermaus-drawing
Daubenton's bat
Plecotus auritus 01
Brown long-eared bat

The bats' most distinguishing feature is that their forelimbs are developed as wings, making them the only mammals in the world naturally capable of flight. Bat species account for about 20% of all mammals.

  • Family: Vespertilionidae
    • Subfamily: Myotinae
      • Genus: Myotis
        • Daubenton's bat Myotis daubentonii LC.
        • Whiskered bat Myotis mystacinus LC.
        • Brandt's bat Myotis brandti DD.
        • Natterer's bat Myotis nattereri LC.
    • Subfamily: Vespertilioninae
      • Genus: Nyctalus
        • Leisler's bat Nyctalus leisleri NT.
      • Genus: Pipistrellus
        • Common pipistrelle Pipistrellus pipistrellus LC.
        • Soprano pipistrelle Pipistrellus pygmaeus LC.
        • Nathusius pipistrelle Pipistrellus nathusii LC.
      • Genus: Plecotus
        • Brown long-eared bat Plecotus auritus LC.
  • Family: Rhinolophidae
    • Subfamily: Rhinolophinae
      • Genus: Rhinolophus
        • Lesser horseshoe bat Rhinolophus hipposideros LC.

Order: Cetacea (whales)

Eubalaena glacialis with calf
North Atlantic right whale
Humpback whale fluke (1)
Belugawhale MMC
Beluga
Porpoise touching
Harbour porpoise

The order Cetacea includes whales, dolphins, and porpoises. They are the mammals most fully adapted to aquatic life with a spindle-shaped nearly hairless body, protected by a thick layer of blubber, and forelimbs and tail modified to provide propulsion underwater.

  • Suborder: Mysticeti
    • Family: Balaenidae (right whales)
      • Genus: Balaena
      • Genus: Eubalaena
        • North Atlantic right whale Eubalaena glacialisCR or Functionally Extinct in Eastern Atlantic
    • Family: Eschrichtiidae (gray whales)
    • Family: Balaenopteridae (rorqual)
      • Subfamily: Balaenopterinae
        • Genus: Balaenoptera
          • Common minke whale Balaenoptera acutorostrata♠ LR/NT
          • Sei whale Balaenoptera borealisEN
          • Fin whale Balaenoptera physalusEN (increasing gradually in Irish waters)
          • Blue whale Balaenoptera m. musculusEN
    • Family: Megapterinae
      • Genus: Megaptera
        • Humpback whale Megaptera novaeangliae♠ LC (used to be rare, now increasing gradually in Irish waters)
  • Suborder: Odontoceti
    • Superfamily: Platanistoidea
      • Family: Monodontidae (narwhals)
        • Genus: Delphinapterus
          • Beluga Delphinapterus leucasNT
      • Family: Phocoenidae (porpoises)
        • Genus: Phocoena
          • Harbour porpoise Phocoena phocoena♠ LC
      • Family: Physeteridae (sperm whales)
        • Genus: Physeter
      • Family: Kogiidae
        • Genus: Kogia
          • Pygmy sperm whale Kogia breviceps♠ LR/LC
      • Family: Ziphidae (beaked whales)
      • Subfamily: Hyperoodontinae
        • Genus: Hyperoodon
          • North Atlantic Bottlenose whale Hyperoodon ampullatusDD
        • Genus: Mesoplodon
          • Sowerby's beaked whale Mesoplodon bidensDD
          • Gervais' beaked whale Mesoplodon europaeusDD
          • True's beaked whale Mesoplodon mirusDD
      • Family: Delphinidae (marine dolphins)

Order: Carnivora (carnivorans)

Grey seal rhossili 1
Grey seal

Carnivorans include over 260 species, the majority of which eat meat as their primary dietary item. They have a characteristic skull shape and dentition.

  • Suborder: Caniformia
    • Family: Canidae (dogs, foxes)
    • Family: Mustelidae (mustelids)
      • Genus: Neovison
        • American mink Neovison vison, not assessed. Recent introduction.
      • Genus: Mustela
        • Stoat Mustela erminea LC.
      • Genus: Martes
        • European pine marten Martes martes LC.
      • Genus: Meles
        • Eurasian badger Meles meles LC.
      • Genus: Lutra
    • Family: Odobenidae
      • Genus: Odobenus
        • Walrus Odobenus rosmarus LR/LC Migrant. Very occasional.
    • Family: Phocidae (earless seals)
      • Genus: Halichoerus
        • Grey seal Halichoerus grypus LR/LC
      • Genus: Phoca
        • Common seal Phoca vitulina LR/LC
      • Genus: Erignathus
        • Bearded seal Erignathus barbatus LC/RC September 2002 Leenane, County Mayo is the first, and only, record of this Arctic seal for Ireland.
      • Genus: Pusa
        • Ringed seal Pusa hispida LC/RC Migrant. Very occasional.
      • Genus: Pagophilus
        • Harp seal Pagophilus groenlandicus LC/RC Migrant. Very occasional.
      • Genus: Cystophora
        • Hooded seal Cystophora cristatus VU Migrant. Very occasional.

Order: Artiodactyla (even-toed ungulates)

The even-toed ungulates are ungulates whose weight is borne about equally by the third and fourth toes, rather than mostly or entirely by the third as in perissodactyls. There are about 220 artiodactyl species, including many that are of great economic importance to humans.

  • Family: Suidae (pigs)
    • Subfamily: Suinae
      • Genus: Sus
        • Boar Sus scrofa not assessed, recent reintroduction.
Bilberry Goat resting (bad quality)
Bilberry goat.
  • Family: Cervidae (deer)
    • Subfamily: Cervinae
      • Genus: Cervus
        • Red deer Cervus elaphus - introduced around 5,000 years ago.
        • Reeves's muntjac Muntiacus reevesi not assessed - recent introduction
        • Sika deer Cervus nippon not assessed - recent introduction
    • Subfamily: Capreolinae
      • Genus: Capreolus
        • Roe deer Capreolus capreolus Not assessed. No longer present. Introduced to the Lissadell Estate, Co. Sligo in 1870. Died out c. 1920.
      • Genus: Dama
        • Fallow deer Dama dama - Introduced by the Normans in 1244.
  • Family: Bovidae
    • Subfamily: Caprinae
      • Genus: Capra
        • Feral Bilberry goat Capra aegagrus hircus. Not assessed, derived from domesticated animals.

List of mammals of Ireland Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.