Ireland is a place of wild natural beauty and it values its wildlife. To cater for the needs of animals and birds around the country, a number of sanctuaries have been established. You can find details on some of them below.
T.A.C.T Wildlife Centre
2 Crumlin Road, Crumlin, Antrim
The T.A.C.T Wildlife Centre (Talnotry Avian Care Trust) is a voluntarily run Charity based in the village of Crumlin, Co. Antrim. The Trust cares for and rehabilitates sick and injured wild birds and mammals and returns them to the wild when practicable. Any individuals that cannot be returned to the wild for whatever reason are given a home at the Centre where they are fed and cared for by a small team of dedicated staff members and volunteers. Swans, Ducks, Geese, Gannets, Cormorants and Gulls wander safely around the grounds of a 200 year old walled garden. Other residents at the Centre include Kestrels, Sparrowhawks, Peregrines, Owls, Foxes and Hedgehogs as well as unwanted pets such as Rabbits, Guinea Pigs, Cockatiels and Pigeons. The Centre is open to visitors by arrangement and a small charge is made to help defray the costs of the Charity’s work. Visitors to the Centre have a great opportunity to get close to all different species of birds and mammals that are difficult to see in the wild, are given information on Wildlife casualties and injuries, as well as being taught about different species of wild birds and mammals.
The Rope Walk, Castle Street, Portaferry, Down
One of Europe’s finest aquaria, Exploris presents the wonders of the Irish Sea, from 6ft long conger eels to ponderous octopus. If a tank is being fed during your visit to Exploris, you may experience the frenzy of feeding time. The Touch Tanks allow you to stroke a friendly ray, feel the suction power of a spiny starfish or find out how prickly a sea urchin is.
The new Marine Discovery Lab showcases the ever-changing developments behind the scenes at Exploris, from delicate fish embryos moving in their egg sacs, to the microscopic world unveiled by the video microscope. From the deep and mysterious waters of the open sea tank, sharks circle and rays sweep majestically past as you sit in a cave beneath one of the largest Open Sea Tanks in the United Kingdom.
The Silent Valley
Mourne, Annalong, Down
In 1933 the successful damming of the Kilkeel River valley established the Mourne Wall and the immense reservoir in a renamed “silent valley”. Built to gather waters from a mountain catchment extending over most of the High Mournes, the Silent Valley and Ben Crom reservoirs supply most of County Down and a large part of Belfast for domestic and industrial use. Both dams are ringed by dramatic mountain panoramas, whilst the reservoir grounds contain the parkland, lakes and ponds which were the part of the original landscape design part of the original landscape design envisaged by the Water Commissioners. Most of these areas are now open to the public. Today splendid mountain vistas, woodland walks, and a range of facilities (including an exhibition centre and restaurant) can all be enjoyed. The story of how the dam was built continues to fascinate visitors at this unique resource.
Dingle Ocean World Mara Beo
The Wood, Dingle, Kerry
Oceanworld is a state-of-the-art aquarium displaying facinating fish-life and rare species.
Wexford Wildlife Reserve
The reserve is part owned by the Irish Wildbird Conservancy, and run by the National Parks and Wildlife Service. One third of the world’s population of Greenland White Fronted Geese winter there.