Special and Common Animals in Co. Mayo

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There is a huge variety of animal species in Mayo, an attractive and enjoyable country for animals and birds watching.

Walking on miles and miles of very scenic routes and paths is a good way of coming across our fauna.

A wide range of birds can be seen and the high proportion of land designated for bird conservation in our country reflects its importance nationally and internationally for bird populations.

Some of them are winter visitors such as the barnacle goose, the whooper swan, the common scoter, the ringed plover etc, and some are summer visitors such as the corncrake, the lapwing, the twite, the snipe and the dunlin.

Did you know?
Ballycroy's National Park is home to a variety of bird species including woodcock, skylarks, ravens, dippers, common sandpipers and hooded crows.
Birds of prey in the Park area include kestrels and sparrowhawks, merlin and peregrine falcons. The high heather in the Park provides welcome cover for red grouse and hen harriers are winter visitors there. 

Rare insects can be seen in the country such as dragonflies and butterflies.

Mayo also supports vulnerable bees species including the native great yellow bumblebee and moths such as Portland moth and the belted beauty.

In Mayo there are several protected mammals including a large variety of bats, red squirrel, deer, pine marten, the Irish hare, badger and otter.

Marine mammals occur off the Mayo coast including the Risso's dolphin (especially North Mayo), the fin whale (off Achill Island), humpback whale (migratory route of west coast), common dolphin and minke whale (seasonally along the coast).

A rich range of fish including the Atlantic salmon and the brown trout occurs in several Mayo's river, particularly the Moy, Deel, Delphi and Erriff.  


In Co. Mayo two species of swan can be found: Mute Swan and Whooper Swan

Red Squirrel

The Red Squirrel is an omnivorous rodent who lives on trees.

Barnacle Goose

The Barnacle Goose is a black and white medium-sized goose.


Oystercatcher is a shorebird common on Mayo’s coasts.

Common Seal

The Common Seal is a true seal, that can be found in Mayo's coastal areas.


The otter is a carnivorous mammal that can live in both fresh-water and sea-shore habitats.

Barn Owl

The Barn Owl is one of the three resident species of owl in Ireland and probably is the most distinctive.

Marsh Fritillary Butterfly

The Marsh Fritillary Butterfly is one of the rarest invertebrates in Europe found in and around wet grassland and bogs of Co. Mayo.


The badger is an omnivore animal easily found in Mayo and in every country in Ireland.

Black Faced Sheep

The Black Faced Sheep is the type of sheep which lives and breeds in County Mayo.


Heron is one of Mayo’s largest birds.


The limpet is a sea snail easily found on Mayo’s seashores.

Meadow Pipit

Meadow Pipit is very common throughout Ireland and Mayo

Feral Goats

Feral goats are common in many areas of County Mayo.

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