National animal of Ireland

National animal of Ireland

Red deer is the national animal of Ireland, which scientifically known as Cervus elaphus. Ireland’s national animal Red deer is one of the leading species among the deer. They are commonly known as Red deer or western deer, those are dwelling in Algeria; Armenia; Austria; Belarus; Belgium; Bosnia and Herzegovina; Bulgaria; Croatia; Czech Republic; Denmark; Estonia; France (France (mainland)); Georgia; Germany; Hungary; Ireland; Italy; Latvia; Lithuania; Luxembourg; Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic; Moldova; Montenegro; Netherlands; Norway; Poland; Romania; Serbia; Slovakia; Slovenia; Sweden; Switzerland; Tunisia; Turkey; Ukraine, Asia Minor, Iran, parts of western Asia, the Caucasus Mountains region, and central Asia. Being the only species of deer to inhabit Africa it is also populates in the Atlas Mountains area of northwestern Africa between Morocco and Tunisia. They have also been introduced to Australia, Canada, Peru, Chile, Uruguay, United States, Argentina and New Zealand. Red deer became the national animal of Ireland.

National animal of Ireland Facts

  • Common name: Red deer or western deer.
  • Scientific name: Cervus elaphus
  • Habitat: Red deer habitat includes open deciduous woodland, mixed deciduous-coniferous and coniferous woodland, upland moors and open mountainous areas occasionally above the tree line, natural grasslands, pastures and meadows.
  • Diet: Red deer are browsers. They eat grasses, sedges, and forbs in summer and in the winter month’s they have feed woody growth.
  • Color: The color of the coat is usually brown all over the body excluding in the belly and buttocks, which are whitish, and may differ in the strength of its hue according to individuals. They have thick mane of dark hair on the neck and shoulders. The infantile of a few months are reddish in color, with spots and white stripes, which facilitate them to hide from predators.
  • Length: The male (stag) red deer is typically 175 to 250 cm long while the female (hind) is 160 to 210 cm long.
  • Weight: The male weighs range from 160 to 240 kg (while the female weighs range from120 to 170 kg
  • Average height: Shoulder height is about 95 to 130 cm.
  • Lifespan: Red deer live more than 20 years in captivity while in the wild they live10 to 13 years
  • Breeding season: Breeding occurs from October to December, fawns are born in the spring.

Ireland’s national animal, Red deer have usually brown color all over the body excluding in the belly and buttocks, which are whitish and may differ in the strength of its hue according to individuals. They have thick mane of dark hair on the neck and shoulders. The infantile of a few months are reddish in color, with spots and white stripes, which are facilitate them to hide from predators. When a Red deer is worried, they will raise their tail to expose the white underside. It is a signal of warning for other deer. Red deer are browsers. The male Red deer has antlers. They eat grasses, sedges, and forbs in summer and in the winter month’s they have feed woody growth. The woody plant includes cedar, wintergreen, eastern hemlock, sumac, jack pine, red maple, staghorn, and basswood. They also like dandelions, aster, eastern hemlock, hawkweed, clover, violets and sometimes mushroom. They have four chambered stomach, which can digest extremely tough vegetation. Like other deer the Red deer have jagged incisors and big molars for biting grinding it up when they chew.

Ireland’s national animal Red deer has belonged separate name for both male and female. The male deer called stags and females are hinds. Red deer are polygynous, which means one male mating with multiple females. The males lose their antler velvet and start to compete for females in late September or early October. Leading males can uphold larger harems and restrict access to their females. The Harems are occurs mostly seasonal and typically consist of 1 bull with 6 females with their yearling calves. The female Red deer give birth of a single offspring after a gestation period of 240 days. After birth, the hind and her calf live alone for a few weeks. The mothers nurse and protect their offspring for the first year of life.

The Red deer, Ireland’s National animal is one of the most distinctive Mammals in the Americus, which symbolized tenderness tempered with strength, peace, energy, fertility and prosperity. It outstandingly represents and glorifies the spirit of Ireland.

Reference:

  1. https://americanexpedition.us/
  2. http://www.iucnredlist.org/
  3. https://en.wikipedia.org/
  4. https://animaldiversity.org/accounts/Cervus_elaphus/
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