What is the National Animal of Ireland?

The mountain hare, the national mammal of the country of the Ireland.
The mountain hare, the national mammal of the country of the Ireland.


A national animal, just like any other state symbol, must have symbolic meaning in order to represent a country. To this Ireland is no exception. However, because the country was not partitioned until 1922 many national symbols represent the period of Ireland before the division.

The National Bird

In the year 1990, the Irish Wildlife conservancy declared the northern lapwing bird as the national bird of the Republic of Ireland, while the Eurasian oystercatcher acts as the national bird for Northern Ireland. This decision was made in 1961 albeit unofficially. Several birds have been put forward as suitable candidates for the national bird position. These birds have included species such as the peregrine falcon, Eurasian curlew, Bohemian waxwing, common swift, and northern pintail.


The national fish of Ireland is the Nothern pike. Fresh water fish have been described as Ireland’s national fish. They are also called coarse fish. This category includes the likes of bream perch and carp.

Dog Breed

The national dog breed for the Republic of Ireland is the Irish Wolfhound though some people contest the idea, proposing the Kerry Blue Terrier as the substitute.


The national land animal is not very clear although the Irish Hare has been treated as the national animal. It can be noted that the hare was not the original idea for a national animal. Initially the Irish elk is what was defined as the national animal, an iconic mammal that was found in the whole of Northern Europe. Since this mammal no longer exists, the next possible contender for the spot was the red deer. This was not well received as its origin was also not very clear. Some people still consider the red deer as the national animal. It has faced extinction as its population reduced to such a point that a conservation project was created just to protect the species.


The mountain hare was agreed on as the national animal. This animal is unique to Ireland and not found in any other place. Despite their position of importance this sub species is sadly on a slow decline. The number of mountain hares has been reducing gradually to the concern of many in Ireland who love the animal. According to a survey that was carried out in farms around mountainous areas, the animal might need to be protected from consumption.


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