Meet Our Park Neighbours
The Castlerosse Park Resort is nestled deep in the heart of Killarney National Park, Ireland’s very first National Park, encompassing over 25,000 acres of diverse ecology. The Park is a unique and special place and home to many rare wildlife species which has earned it the title of a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve in recognition of its Special Area of Conservation status.
Here we introduce you to some of the neighbours who we are proud to share our Park Resort with.
Probably one of the most popular kids on the block, and one which you are almost certain to encounter if you are to stay with us at the Resort, is the Red Deer. The Killarney National Park is home to the only native Red Deer herd in the country and these magnificent creatures can often be seen roaming freely around the Resort and surrounding Parkland.
One of the best times to see our four-legged friends is in the Spring for calving as well as the late Autumn when rival Stags go into battle in spectacular fashion for what is known as the Annual Rutting Season.
The Japanese Sika Deer
As the name suggests this species of Deer originated from Japan (Sika is the Japanese for Deer) and was introduced to our Park in 1865 when a stag and two hinds were brought to the Kenmare Estate. Since then their numbers have grown considerably and today can be observed in their ever-growing herds in the Demense area of the Killarney National Park.
They are differentiated from their Red Deer companions by a distinctive V shape in their forehead, more rounded ears, velvet antlers and spotted coats - think Bambi folks!
Kerry Cattle are a rare breed of dairy cattle native to Ireland. They are believed to be one of the oldest dairy breeds in Europe, descendent from the so-called Celtic Horns, dating back to around 2000 BC. These gentle animals are identified by their all black colour, white horns tipped with black and their docile nature. On average, a Kerry Cow will produce between 3,000-3,700kg of milk in one lactation. Their milk is of high quality and is used for cheese, ice-cream and yogurt.
Originating from Kerry, the breed is made to survive in our climate with their coats growing longer in the Winter period to keep them well insulated from the often heavy rainfall. These black beauties can often be seen grazing on many of the scenic walking routes around the Parkland and not far from the Castlerosse Resort.
The Pine Marten is one of Ireland’s rarest wild animals and can often be found creeping amidst the lush landscape of the National Parkland where they burrow in trees.
This brown coated creature with a creamy underlayer is the size of a domestic cat and is a natural born tree-climber. It typically feeds on plant-based foods such as nuts and berries but can also feed on frogs and insects, depending on what is available.
In 1980 the Pine Marten was declared extinct in Kerry, however, due to the success of a regeneration program whereby many of the species was reintroduced from Co. Clare, they are now extremely common and can be found even in the most remote woodland areas of the Park.
Although strong in numbers, this creature is likely the most elusive of our neighbours but sightings are still possible so keep your eyes peeled especially around dusk when the Pine Marten comes out to play.
The most famous rare species in the Park is undoubtedly the White-Tailed Eagle, Europe’s largest bird of prey, and fourth largest in the world, measuring 100cm in length and with a wingspan of 2.5 metres.
Extinct since 1910 following a long-term period of deliberate killing and poisoning, the species was finally reintroduced to Ireland in 2007 when a nationwide initiative saw over 100 Eagles from Norway released into the rugged wilds of Ireland including the Killarney National Park. Since then, thankfully two of these majestic creatures have made the Park their home and can often be seen swopping for fish on the Lakes of Killarney.
Catch a waterbus ride at nearby Ross Castle, (a 30-minute walk through the Park from the Resort) for the best chance at catching a glimpse of our feathered friends.
Staying with us at the Resort, you will have access to the most spectacular views of Lough Leane, the most popular of the three Killarney Lakes and the largest body of freshwater in the region, offering a wide variety of freshwater species. The Killarney Shad is just one of these species but this fishy character is extra special as it is a marine species completely unique to Killarney and its Lakes, thought to exist here for thousands of years.
It is a sub species of the Twaite Shad and a member of the herring family. The Killarney Shad lives in shoals although fish fanatics shouldn’t get too excited at the possibility of getting up close and personal with the Shad as sightings are rare due to their natural dwelling at the bottom of the seabed.
Also at home in Lough Leane is the Artic Char, a rare fish breed dating back to the Ice Age. It is similar in appearance to the Brown Trout and like the Killarney Shad, it too needs clean and fresh water to survive. Also found in Northern Italy, it’s thought that 16% of Europe’s population of the breed can in fact be found in the Killarney Lakes alone.
If fish are your thing, then there are many fishing and angling experiences to choose from with local and knowledgeable Angling Experts. These fishing expeditions are a fantastic way to learn more about the ecology of the Killarney Lakes and their unique aquatic life.
We hope you enjoyed learning about just some of the wonderful and rare creatures we share our home with and hopefully we have provided you with even more reasons to visit us here at the Castlerosse Park Resort next season. For bookings and enquiries please contact us at 064 66 31144 or email us at email@example.com
Until then, sláinte!