Ireland is home to about 815 flowering plants, about 80 native ferns, more than 700 mosses and liverworts, 3,500 fungi, over 1,000 lichens and 1,400 algae. There are 32 terrestrial mammals, 10 bat species, two species of seals and about 24 whales and dolphins. About 425 species of birds have been recorded in Ireland, about half of them breed here.
In 2001, Ireland agreed to ‘halt the loss of biodiversity by 2010’. This deadline has recently been extended to 2020. Failure to protect our most endangered natural habitats and species will result in substantial fines for Ireland by the EU.