Clare Wildlife

The unique landscape of the Burren is a major attraction for both people and wildlife alike.

Feral Goats

The rugged rocks of Clare provide the perfect habitat for several species of wildlife. Because of these unique conditions, it comes as no surprise that herds of feral goats find the Burren conditions deal for dwelling in. These goats move about nomadically. They spend their days wandering the rugged plains chomping their way through the unique plant life that grows sporadically on the grey rockface.


The Burren is also home to more species of butterfly than any other region in Ireland. Apparently, the rocky Karst landscape with its unique mix of plants is home to 12 individual species of butterfly! The Pearl-bordered Fritillary, can only be found in the Burren. The Brown Hairstreak is only found here and in neighbouring areas.

It’s not surprising that this vast rocky wilderness would be the ideal abode for butterflies. The landscape provides craggy fissures for them to dwell in and an abundance of rock and plant for camouflage.


Neighbouring village-Doolin, is also home to rare and unusual breeds of wildlife. Infamous dolphin-Dusty-the Doolin Dolphin, appeared in the Bay shortly after Dusty Springfield’s ashes were emptied into the ocean from the Cliffs Of Moher. Some people are of the belief that the Son Of A Preacher Man singer has been reincarnated as a dolphin!

Dusty is a bit notorious around these parts for her vicious temper. She is feisty by nature and has been known to fly off the handle and attack people when they get too close to her. In 2014, following a spate of attacks locally, warnings were issued to discourage getting too close to Dusty and swimming with this dolphin isn’t advised. Although she has been the star of several videos, many of them have depicted poor Dusty in a less than favourable light.

In Dusty’s defence it’s probably best to leave wildlife alone as they can get territorial when they’re frightened.
Inevitably, there are plenty of creatures to spot on your Burren nature trails. If you’re looking for a way to pass the day, this is one way to do it!

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About the Author: Marcus White

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