Bats are the only mammals with true, powered flight. Unlike the gliding flight of flying squirrels and lemurs, bats use their wings for active flight. Like other mammals, bats are warm blooded (endothermic), covered in fur and feed their newborn offspring with milk.

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Bats are one of the most diverse groups of mammals on the planet. There are over 1,400 species currently known and they are found all over the world, with the exception of the Arctic, Antarctic and a few Oceanic islands.

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The last survey of native Irish woodlands was carried out over a decade ago. It found about 1,300 native woodland areas, half of which were smaller than six hectares, and only about 40 were larger than 50 hectares, demonstrating the massive level of habitat fragmentation in Ireland today. Still, for a country where only about 2% of our woodland is native we have lots of native tree species; 36 trees and shrubs in total. The top ten native Irish trees in order of abundance in our native woodlands are presented in this article.

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Lough Hyne, a truly spectacular saltwater lake, spans a distance of one kilometre in West Cork, not far from Skibbereen. Home to a vast array of both flora and fauna, including 72 different species of fish (1)—some of which are very rare—it is no surprise that the lough became Ireland’s first marine nature reserve in 1981 (2).

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Heritage Week

Heritage week is a great way to get together and learn more about the natural heritage on our doorsteps. We were lucky to have Zoologist of NUI Galway, Elaine O’Riordan, come to Fota Education Centre to discuss her research on hedgehogs.

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Butterflies are members of the large insect order known as Lepidoptera, which is a word made up of the Greek words lepis which means ‘scale’ and pteron which means ‘wing’.

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Did you know that we have native Crayfish here in Ireland? They are under serious threat!

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And why do they keep crashing into my kitchen window?

The Cockchafer has many different names – May bug, June bug, billy witch and doodle bug among others (as Gaeilge: cearnamhán priompallán samhraidh).

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