Ireland’s biological diversity is under pressure like never before. The ongoing programme of conservation assessments conclude that on average 20% of the species that have been assessed are considered to be at risk of extinction in Ireland. Extinction is not a new phenomenon as Ireland has already lost many species. Here is an account of 10 species that are already considered extinct in Ireland.

Grey wolf

Grey wolf
The Grey Wolf (Canis lupus) arrived in Ireland at the end of the last Ice Age. It was common in our landscape through the Mesolithic, Bronze Age, Iron Age and Norman periods and at one time the population may have reached 1,000 animals. During Cromwell’s rule bounties for wolves were initiated and so began the final path to extinction. The last wolves disappeared from Ireland in the late 18th Century, probably sometime between 1770 and 1786. Wolves continue to exist in most European countries (Photograph:Gunner Ries).