Urban Areas

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We all know that there is a varied and wonderful world of wildlife in rural Ireland, but did you know that there is a growing population of wildlife in urban areas? If you live in a housing estate and you think you saw a badger in your garden, chances are you probably did!

Think about the big changes in the Irish countryside recently. Urban areas are steadily creeping further and further into rural areas. New roads, housing estates and industries all contribute to the shrinking Irish countryside.

How do you think this affects the animals?

This expansion of urban areas disturbs many animals' natural habitat. They must seek shelter and food elsewhere. Two of the most common wild animals in urban areas are foxes and badgers.

There have been sightings of these animals in Dublin, Belfast, Cork and Galway, and it is not uncommon to see a fox strolling down Grafton Street in Dublin late at night!

Foxes will makes their dens in unused or overgrown gardens. They are quite inquisitive and will come into your garden if you leave your gate open. Even though they are generally harmless animals and will run away if approached, remember that they are still wild animals and should not be annoyed.

Badgers are also a common sight in urban areas. As their foraging areas have been disturbed and food has become so scarce, about 50% of badgers will die in their first year. If you see one foraging in your garden and digging up your lawn, try to be patient. They are only searching for food!

Badgers eat most things, so you can help them by leaving out some scraps and water for them. Just make sure to ask your parents first.