Carrabane National School, Athenry
Some of the editors from Ireland

Ireland - things to be proud of:

Ireland’s Wildlife

There are many forms of wildlife in Ireland, birds, animals, amphibians and birds. Many small birds, such as robins, blue tits, great tits and finches are very common but others, such as the goldcrest, Ireland’s smallest bird, are very elusive. There are many common, yet beautiful, sea birds: the gannet, the shag, the puffin, the cormorant and the kittiwake. There are three types of falcons, the peregrine, the sparrowhawk and the kestrel. There are four species of owls: the barn owl, the long-eared owl, the tawny owl and the short-eared owl. There are also river birds, the technicolour kingfisher, the stately heron and the mute swan.

There are many animals: the red fox, the badger, the otter, the stoat and the mink. The red fox is common on farmland, bogland, mountainous regions and has successfully adapted to urban areas also. The badger is found throughout Ireland and is strictly nocturnal. The badger is part of the otter, mink and stoat family. The otter is found near rivers, streams and estuaries. The stoat is common throughout Ireland but is very difficult to spot because they are very agile and quick. We also have seven types of bats: the pipistrelle , the lesser horseshoe, the long-eared , the whiskered, Natterer’s bat, Daubenton’s bat and Leisler’s bat. We have sea mammals too, the bottle nosed dolphin, and the common and grey seal. There is one type of shark, the basking shark, which feeds on plankton, that is native to our waters but other types of shark have also been seen.

We have tree species of amphibian, the common frog, the Natterjack toad and the smooth newt. We also have one type of lizard, the common lizard which is unusual in that it is viviparous, or gives birth to live young instead of laying eggs. The common lizard is mainly found around coastland.

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Turlough or turlach means dry lake. Well, it is not really a dry lake it is more of a seasonal lake .It dries up in Summer so cattle can graze in it and fills up in Winter. Turloughs are unique to Ireland. Most turlough’s have drainage holes called swallow holes. They suck. The water flows out into the limestone caverns below. That is why it is dangerous to swim in turloughs. The largest turlough in Ireland is Rahasane which lies to the west of Craughell in Co. Galway. This is only a few miles from our school. It covers over 250 hectares (or 500 football pitches). In Winter, turloughs attract rare birds like the Whooper Swan, the Wigeon,The White-Fronted Goose an the Teal. Turloughs are in danger of becoming extinct because road works and home drainage systems are damaging the underground water channels. All of this is why it would be a tragedy if this unique part of Irish heritage were to be destroyed forever!eppered,

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