Call us on +353 87 261 7967 or email info@killarneyboattours.com

Call us on +353 87 261 7967 or email info@killarneyboattours.com

Explore Killarney by boat

Our tour travels along the Long Range Killarney, where you will truly be in the heart of Killarney National Park, without the distractions of cars and crowds. This is the ideal area to view and enjoy the diversity of wildlife in the region. Here are some of the animals you will have a chance of seeing.

Red Deer stag
Red Deer

Red Deer are Ireland’s largest mammal and, after Elk, are the second largest deer species in Europe. The Kerry Red Deer population are descended from the first introduction of the species to Ireland 5,000 years ago. There is evidence however that the Red Deer may have been in Kerry prior to the last Ice Age 12,000 years ago but became extinct due to climate change. The Red Deer life span is 13-16 years old and males can grow 160-250kg.

Red Deer stag
Red Deer

Red Deer are Ireland’s largest mammal and, after Elk, are the second largest deer species in Europe. The Kerry Red Deer population are descended from the first introduction of the species to Ireland 5,000 years ago. There is evidence however that the Red Deer may have been in Kerry prior to the last Ice Age 12,000 years ago but became extinct due to climate change. The Red Deer life span is 13-16 years old and males can grow 160-250kg.

Sika Deer
Sika is a Japanese word which means simply ‘Deer’. Sika were first introduced to Killarney in 1865 by the Browne Family. Sika are the smallest of the deer species in Ireland and the particular sub species found in Killarney are known as the ‘Japanese Sika’. A slight difference in the rutting season explains why the Red and Sika herds haven’t interbred in Killarney. The Sika rutting season is generally in September while in the Red herd it’s October.
Sika Deer
Sika is a Japanese word which means simply ‘Deer’. Sika were first introduced to Killarney in 1865 by the Browne Family. Sika are the smallest of the deer species in Ireland and the particular sub species found in Killarney are known as the ‘Japanese Sika’. A slight difference in the rutting season explains why the Red and Sika herds haven’t interbred in Killarney. The Sika rutting season is generally in September while in the Red herd it’s October.
Fox
Fox
The Red Fox found in Ireland is highly adaptable, versatile and can be found in a wide range of habitats including urban areas. Foxes are solitary hunters, even though they are descended from canines they don’t hunt in packs.
Fox
Fox
The Red Fox found in Ireland is highly adaptable, versatile and can be found in a wide range of habitats including urban areas. Foxes are solitary hunters, even though they are descended from canines they don’t hunt in packs.
Badger

The badger is not native to Ireland, a common theory is that they were introduced here with early settlers in the Neolithic period. They are widespread throughout Ireland but are nocturnal, highly secretive and are rarely encountered. Badgers are omnivorous and have no natural predators, they have also been linked to outbreaks of Tuberculosis particularly in Bovine herds.

Badger
Badger
Badger

The badger is not native to Ireland, a common theory is that they were introduced here with early settlers in the Neolithic period. They are widespread throughout Ireland but are nocturnal, highly secretive and are rarely encountered. Badgers are omnivorous and have no natural predators, they have also been linked to outbreaks of Tuberculosis particularly in Bovine herds.

Hare
Hare

There are three Lagomorph species to be found in Ireland; The Irish Hare, The Brown Hare and the Rabbit. The Irish Hare is much larger than a rabbit. The Brown Hare is mainly prevalent in Northern Ireland while Rabbits are widespread throughout the Island. A Hares diet consists mainly of different types of grasses and they don’t use Dens but make Forms (shallow depressions in dense vegetation).

While the average Hare can weigh in at around 3kg, the average Rabbit is half the size at 1.5kg. Rabbits live in large social groups in Warrens. These Warrens are dug in areas of soft, dry soil and are usually adjacent to areas of grassland. A Warren can house anything from a single pair to up to thirty Rabbits!

Hare
Hare

There are three Lagomorph species to be found in Ireland; The Irish Hare, The Brown Hare and the Rabbit. The Irish Hare is much larger than a rabbit. The Brown Hare is mainly prevalent in Northern Ireland while Rabbits are widespread throughout the Island. A Hares diet consists mainly of different types of grasses and they don’t use Dens but make Forms (shallow depressions in dense vegetation).

While the average Hare can weigh in at around 3kg, the average Rabbit is half the size at 1.5kg. Rabbits live in large social groups in Warrens. These Warrens are dug in areas of soft, dry soil and are usually adjacent to areas of grassland. A Warren can house anything from a single pair to up to thirty Rabbits!

Otter
Rarely seen but quite widespread, the Otter keeps to itself. Their habitat is anything from coastal waters to lakes to streams and rivers. Otters live in Holts, these are a series of tunnels in the mud or amongst tree roots or bushes or piles of boulders. The Holt will always have a number of exits to protect against flooding. The Otter’s diet consists of fish (particularly Eels), frogs, eggs and small mammals.
Otter
Otter
Otter
Rarely seen but quite widespread, the Otter keeps to itself. Their habitat is anything from coastal waters to lakes to streams and rivers. Otters live in Holts, these are a series of tunnels in the mud or amongst tree roots or bushes or piles of boulders. The Holt will always have a number of exits to protect against flooding. The Otter’s diet consists of fish (particularly Eels), frogs, eggs and small mammals.
Birdlife

Mute Swan
Swan

The most common of the Swan species evident in Killarney is the Mute Swan. These Swans are up to 15kg in weight and 170cm in length. They are among the heaviest flying birds in the world. On occasion, we have also had some Whooper Swans in the area. The Whooper Swan is smaller and makes a honking call. The Mute Swan is not as vocal as the Whooper but does make a series of snorting and hissing noises. The Mute Swans are highly territorial and protective of their nests, they will make it clear that you’re straying a bit too close!

Both species require large bodies of water in which to live as their legs (particularly while growing) cannot support their weight for a sustained period. A Swan’s diet consists mainly of aquatic vegetation. The Swans tend to stay in shallower water and eat Molluscs which stick to the vegetation as well as frogs, small fish and worms.

Mute Swan
Swan

The most common of the Swan species evident in Killarney is the Mute Swan. These Swans are up to 15kg in weight and 170cm in length. They are among the heaviest flying birds in the world. On occasion, we have also had some Whooper Swans in the area. The Whooper Swan is smaller and makes a honking call. The Mute Swan is not as vocal as the Whooper but does make a series of snorting and hissing noises. The Mute Swans are highly territorial and protective of their nests, they will make it clear that you’re straying a bit too close!

Both species require large bodies of water in which to live as their legs (particularly while growing) cannot support their weight for a sustained period. A Swan’s diet consists mainly of aquatic vegetation. The Swans tend to stay in shallower water and eat Molluscs which stick to the vegetation as well as frogs, small fish and worms.

Eagle

Up until 2007 there were no large birds of prey resident in Ireland. This all changed when The National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) began to reintroduce the White Tailed Sea Eagle in Killarney National Park. The Eagles, along with the Mute Swans are the largest flying birds in Ireland. The wingspan of the White-Tailed Eagle is around 2m. Their diet is mainly fish or carrion, although they have been known to eat waterfowl and small mammals also. The eagles are widespread throughout the country with GPS tracking on each of them. At the end of 2017, there were 10 nesting pairs in the country with 21 eagle chicks.

White-tailed sea eagle
White-tailed sea eagle
Eagle

Up until 2007 there were no large birds of prey resident in Ireland. This all changed when The National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) began to reintroduce the White Tailed Sea Eagle in Killarney National Park. The Eagles, along with the Mute Swans are the largest flying birds in Ireland. The wingspan of the White-Tailed Eagle is around 2m. Their diet is mainly fish or carrion, although they have been known to eat waterfowl and small mammals also. The eagles are widespread throughout the country with GPS tracking on each of them. At the end of 2017, there were 10 nesting pairs in the country with 21 eagle chicks.

Duck
Duck

The Mallard Duck is the most widespread in this part of the country. The males are identifiable by their green head and yellow bill, females are brown but with dark stripes. Their diet is mainly seeds and grain, also Molluscs which cling to the underwater vegetation. The Mallard Ducks nest on dry land but close to water, nests are usually concealed by overhanging vegetation or long grass.

Duck
Duck

The Mallard Duck is the most widespread in this part of the country. The males are identifiable by their green head and yellow bill, females are brown but with dark stripes. Their diet is mainly seeds and grain, also Molluscs which cling to the underwater vegetation. The Mallard Ducks nest on dry land but close to water, nests are usually concealed by overhanging vegetation or long grass.

Cormorant
Cormorants are fishing birds, seen mostly on the lakes rather than the rivers. It is said that the Cormorant eats its own weight in fish each day and they would often be seen on exposed rocks drying their wings. Boat drivers are always on the lookout for cormorants as they can pop up out of the water anywhere before diving down again for their prey.
Cormorant
Cormorant
Cormorant
Cormorants are fishing birds, seen mostly on the lakes rather than the rivers. It is said that the Cormorant eats its own weight in fish each day and they would often be seen on exposed rocks drying their wings. Boat drivers are always on the lookout for cormorants as they can pop up out of the water anywhere before diving down again for their prey.
Grey Heron
Grey Heron

Grey Herons can be seen on the shores of both lakes and rivers. They eat mainly fish but can also eat small amphibians. The Grey Heron can be mistakenly identified as a Crane (extinct in Ireland as a breeding species) but bear a striking resemblance.

Grey Heron
Grey Heron

Grey Herons can be seen on the shores of both lakes and rivers. They eat mainly fish but can also eat small amphibians. The Grey Heron can be mistakenly identified as a Crane (extinct in Ireland as a breeding species) but bear a striking resemblance.

Small Birds

Amongst our small bird populations are Robins, Blue Tits, Blackbirds, Great Tits, Chaffinches and Goldfinches. It’s often said as we travel the lakes that passengers don’t see too many birds, if we stop our engine near any wooded area, there is a cacophony of birdsongs to be heard.

Robin
Robin
Small Birds

Amongst our small bird populations are Robins, Blue Tits, Blackbirds, Great Tits, Chaffinches and Goldfinches. It’s often said as we travel the lakes that passengers don’t see too many birds, if we stop our engine near any wooded area, there is a cacophony of birdsongs to be heard.

Red Kite
Transitory and Historic Birds

In our history there have been a number of resident birds that are now extinct in the area. These are mainly large birds of prey, these birds were hunted by local farmers because they thought that they were killing their livestock. Examples of now extinct birds include Golden Eagles, Red Kites, Crane, Osprey and up until recently, the White Tailed Eagle. These, along with other birds will visit from time to time and it is often that we would see a Buzzard, Egret or Geese in the area.

Red Kite
Transitory and Historic Birds

In our history there have been a number of resident birds that are now extinct in the area. These are mainly large birds of prey, these birds were hunted by local farmers because they thought that they were killing their livestock. Examples of now extinct birds include Golden Eagles, Red Kites, Crane, Osprey and up until recently, the White Tailed Eagle. These, along with other birds will visit from time to time and it is often that we would see a Buzzard, Egret or Geese in the area.