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Clare County Library

Species:

Species Introduction
Bats
Other Mammals
Birds
Waders
Ducks, Geese and Swans
Birds of Prey
Other Birds
Fish
Reptiles
Amphibians
Crustaceans
Insects
Molluscs
Echinoderms
Vascular Plants
Lichens
Seaweed
Fungi

Marine Mammals

The Atlantic coast provides some of the best waters in Europe for sighting cetaceans (marine mammals including whales, dolphins and porpoises).

Dolphin
Bottlenose dolphin Tursiops truncatus
Bottlenose dolphins are widespread along the coast of Clare, particularly the Shannon Estuary and Galway Bay. The only known resident group of dolphins in Ireland occur in the Shannon Estuary, where over 100 dolphins are regularly recorded.
Habitat: Marine and estuary.
What could or does threaten the population: Coastal pollution, over-fishing which can reduce essential food sources, noise and disturbance from boats can cause potential problems for Bottlenose dolphins.

Harbour porpoise Phocoena phocoena
Harbour porpoises are common along the coast of Clare particualy in Galway Bay. These populations are important as they are declining in many other European waters.
What could or does threaten the population: Coastal pollution and getting caught in fishing nets are problems which can reduce numbers of Harbour porpoises.

Common seal Phoca vitulina
In Clare Common seals are mainly found near Ballyvaughan, Mutton Island and occasionally in the Shannon estuary. The other seal found on the coast of Clare is the Grey seal, which is more common and tends to be found further out to sea.
What could or does threaten the population: Diseases, pollution and a reduction of fish due to overfishing may significantly impact Common seal populations.
Seals