Ireland is an island off the coast of Great Britain. It spent the majority of the last ice age underneath giant glaciers, which had a profound effect upon its geography and habitats. Most of Ireland is rolling hills, with some remaining forests. Because of the ice age glaciers, most species of animals have migrated to the island when it still had a land bridge to Great Britain.
There are famously no snakes on Ireland. Reptiles in general are scarce. Ireland has no turtles and only one salamander. Interestingly enough, there is a lizard in Ireland that bears live young, much as a mammal would. Fishes are also not very diverse, again owing to the ancient glaciers that prevented many native species from evolving on Ireland. Freshwater fishes are few in number, other than the ones that swim upstream. The salmon
and sea trout
that spawn in Ireland's streams have made the island's riverine habitats famously rich in food.
Because of its proximity to Great Britain and Europe in general, the bird life of Ireland is very similar to that of its neighbors. Typical fowl include mallards and geese. Ireland's abundant wetland environments provide bountiful food supplies and breeding habitats for a large number of birds.
Of mammals, there are red deer, squirrels, and hedgehogs. Very common to hunt are several types of rabbit and hare. The largest mammal on the island was the Irish elk, which was hunted to extinction in prehistoric times. It stood larger than a draft horse and had antlers that spread eleven feet from one side to the other.
Additionally, humans have brought all manner of domesticated animals with them to Ireland. Dogs, sheep, and cattle are common sights in Ireland, but are not native. These domesticated species are usually found in the company of humans.