Killarney National Park is filled with so many varying species of wildlife some of which are commonly seen around all of Ireland and some being almost exclusive to Killarney National Park. In this blog today we will be looking at some of the most notable critters that you may see when out in Killarney. 

Red Deer

The Red Deer is one of the msot commonly seen animals in Killarney National Park and is easily one of the most majestic animals that we are lucky to have living in the town. The Red Deer are the last indigenous herd in Ireland and can be seen in massive packs all around Killarney National Park. 

A fun fact about the Red Deer is that a stags antlers can weigh up to 15kg! 

Sika Deer

Killarney National Park is home to a herd of Sika Deer which came over from Japan around 150 years ago. They can be easily differentiated from the Red Deer due to the Sika Deer being of a much smaller stature, stags having smaller antlers and the very distinct white markings all over the back of the Sika Deer. 

The herd of Sika Deer can sometimes be spotted on Inisfallen Island which they like to swim over to. 

Sika Deer

Eurasian Otter

One of the rarest animals to see in all of Ireland, the Eurasian Otter is a resident to Killarney and is most frequently sighted by bodies of water. They are known as one of the most charismatic animals around and usually hunt salmon and trout along with other fish. 

There is currently a survey ongoing into the distribution of otters in Ireland so if you do see one or signs of one make sure to inform the National Parks and Wildlife Service. 

Pine Marten

With only an estimated 2700 Pine Martens in all of Ireland this elusive critter is rarely seen but luckily there are a few in Killarney. If you are ever walking through Tomies Woods keep an eye out for one of these cat sized mammals as Tomies is one of Irelands last natural Oak forests which is a Pine Martens favourite habitat. 

They live on a diet of other smaller mammals, berries and other vegetation and are nocturnal hunters. 

Grey Heron Killarney National Park

Grey Heron

This widely distributed bird can be commonly seen in the rivers and other bodies of water around Killarney standing still and silent as it waits for fish to swim by that it can catch. Usually hunting on their own don’t be afraid to snap a picture of these mesmerizing birds if you pass by one on your travels around Killarney National Park. 

White Tailed Eagle

The White Tailed Eagle was reintroduced to Killarney National Park in 2007 and there have been more and more introduced in the years gone by since. This was after a century of the bird being nearly extinct in Ireland but now they are thriving again and return to Killarney every summer for breeding season. You can often see these massive birds with a 1metre wingspan flying over the Lakes of Killarney as it scans for prey. 

Red Squirrel

A long time resident of Killarney National Park the Red Squirrel population has come under attack from the invasive Grey Squirrels which arrived 100 years ago. The Red Squirrel is much smaller than its grey cousin and much harder to see as well. The Red Squirrel is quite elusive preferring to hunt using the tree tops but if you do look up when around Killarney National Park you can catch a glimpse of these beautiful little creatures. 

The Greenland White Fronted Goose

The Greenland White Fronted Goose is a very unique visitor to Killarney National Park during the late Autumn – early Spring period. They return home to Greenland in the Summer in order to breed but always return to Killarney National Park afterwards. 

The Killarney geese are special as they are the only bog feeding geese of their type that winter in Ireland. Another fun fact is that 50% of the worlds population of Greenland White Fronted Geese come to Ireland to winter. 

Kerry Cattle

Kerry Cattle

Kerry Cattle are thought to be one of the oldest breeds of cattle in all of Europe and is thought to be descended from the Neolithic period. These cattle are famed for their milk and meat and can be seen roaming around designated fields in Killarney National Park. These cattle are easily identifiable as their coats are completely black. 


A very elusive but very beautiful bird, the cuckoo is a mysterious bird that is not fully understood as it travel’s between Africa and Ireland. Said to be a harbinger for the Summer, the Cuckoo usually arrives in the last days of April and leaving in early July. Killarney National Park is one of the cuckoos favourite places to spend its summer as they can be spotted flying over the lakes and other areas of the park. 

Peregrine Falcon

Another bird of prey that can be seen in Killarney is the Peregrine Falcon. This bird is another breed that population levels are recovering from vast poisoning in the 1950’s/60’s. While wild falcons can occasionally be spotted flying around Killarney National Park there is also Killarney Falconry which offers a unique experience to see these birds of prey at work in a safe controlled environment.