Irish agriculture

Ireland Wildlife and Economy

Animals and Plants

What animals live in Ireland?

Mammals are few in Ireland. Only 79 species were counted. 33 of them live in the sea and therefore only 46 on land. The red deer is the largest wild mammal in the country and is considered a national animal. There are also squirrels, mice, rabbits, hedgehogs, bats, foxes, badgers and otters.

There are also few species of reptiles with a number of 16. The forest lizard is common, and the slow worm was introduced. It also includes five species of sea turtles. There are no queues in Ireland! There are only four amphibian species, including the common frog, the natterjack toad and the pond newt.

Far more numerous are the birds that live in 415 species in Ireland. Many of them are migratory birds. The pretty and now endangered puffin is one of them. Wrens, robins, blackbirds and chaffinches are more common.

Animals by and in the water

Ireland has more than 3,200 kilometers of coastline. Many marine animals feel at home in and around the water. Seagulls, petrels, shearwaters, boobies and guillemots are some of the flying companions here. And all kinds of swimming inhabitants cavort in the sea. In addition to numerous fish, dolphins, whales and seals also feel at home. Fish also swim in the many rivers and lakes, such as trout, salmon, bream, pike and perch.

What is growing in Ireland?

There are many meadows, pastures and moors in Ireland. Twelve percent of the country’s area is now covered with forest. After large areas of forest had been cleared in the 17th century, there was only one percent forest left in 1901. Large areas have been reforested since the 1990s. Above all conifers are planted, these are coniferous plants. Often moss and lichen also cover stone walls. But not only is everything green in Ireland, there are also numerous flowering plants such as heather, orchids, globeflowers and cotton grass.

Economy

From agricultural land to the Celtic tiger

For a long time Ireland was a poor country, mainly agriculture. This is called an agricultural country. Many people emigrated. But that changed from the 1990s onwards. The economy began to grow, unemployment fell, and many foreign companies invested in Ireland. Companies from the USA in particular came here to control their exports to Europe. Ireland cut corporate taxes to attract even more foreign companies.

The economy grew by several percent every year. Soon people spoke of the “Celtic tiger”. The name is based on the term “tiger states” for the rapidly growing economies in Southeast Asia (Singapore, Taiwan, South Korea and Hong Kong).

Collapse in 2007 and recovery from 2014

Many Irish who had once emigrated returned home and there were also immigrants from other countries, especially from Eastern Europe. In 2007, however, the international financial crisis caused the Irish economy to collapse. The finance and construction industries in particular collapsed. A real estate bubble burst.

Ireland received support from the EU from 2010 and pursued an austerity course. The economy has been recovering and growing again since 2014.

Areas of the economy

According to simplyyellowpages, agriculture has a very small share of the total Irish economy, one percent. The main crops are barley, potatoes and wheat. In addition, cows and sheep are kept. Pasture land makes up 85 percent of agricultural land. Sheep and dairy farming have large surpluses.

Industry has a share of 39.3 percent. Medical and chemical products, food and beverages are manufactured. Software development also plays a major role. The export plays an important role in Ireland’s economy.

At 59.7 percent, services have the largest share, although this used to be even larger. This includes communication and financial services in particular, but also transport and tourism. About seven million people visit Ireland each year.

Irish agriculture