The class mammalia are vertebrate animals that share characteristics such as possessing hair, maintaining warm blood, with females giving birth to live young and producing milk. With an abundance of prey, wild foods and the protective cover provided by trees and their undergrowth, Irish forests are a natural home to an array of mammal species ranging from deer to pygmy shrew. Foxes and rabbits are often viewed by visitors to the Terryland Forest Park. A scientific survey of the park by students from NUI Galway undertaken under the stewardship of Dr. Catriona Carlin in autumn/winter 2015 found the following mammals living in this important urban nature reserve: bank vole, wood mouse, pygmy shrew as well as six species of bat - Leisler, Daubenton, Brown Long-eared, Nathusias pipistrelle, Common pipistrelle and Soprano pipistrelle. 

Madra Rua, Sionnach
Vulpes vulpes
The red fox is one of most well-known and most common mammals in Ireland.

It can measure about 3-4 foot (90-105cm) from nose to the tip of its bushy tail that is referred to as a brush.
The highly adapted fox has over the last few decades expanded well beyond its traditional rural heartland and can now be found living in urban areas such as large gardens or derelict sites. However, the protective tree cover of Terryland Forest Park gives the fox a habitat reminiscent of the countryside where it can hunt and raise a family.
A nocturnal hunter that hunts alone, the fox is a very adaptable omnivore that eats a wide range of foods. In woodland its main food consists of small mammals, such as rats, mice and voles, rabbits, hares, small birds, insects and fruit.

The male fox is called a dog fox, a female is called a vixen and a baby fox is known as a cub.

In Ireland the mating season is in January or February and the young are born in late February or March. The home of a fox is called an earth which can be an abandoned rabbit burrow or a badger sett.

The fox usually raises one litter every year in March or April and the vixen can give birth to up to eight cubs. 
As a nocturnal animal they are seldom seen by visitors to the park, although they can sometimes be identified through characteristic tracks, feeding signs and droppings. Unfortunately foxes, like other mammals, are often the victims of road traffic accidents, and are found as dead animals lying on or near to the main roads that dissect the parklands.

Bank Vole
Vol bruaigh 

Myodes glareolus
Bank voles are very small rodents, measuring about 12 - 15cm from head to the tip of its tail.
They are not native to Ireland and were probably introduced accidentally during the 1920s in the southwest. They have been spreading ever since at the rate of 3-4 km per year, and arrived in Galway around the year 2000. Bank voles prefer habitats which offer plenty of dense undergrowth like that found in deciduous woodlands and hedgerows.
They are omnivores predominantly feeding on green leaves, but also eating a wide range of foods including fruits, seeds, fungi and some invertebrate animals.
Like other small mammals the bank vole is an important prey species for a large number of predatory birds and animals such as the fox and kestrel in the Terryland Forest Park. As an introduced species though, they need to be monitored closely to ensure they are not adversely affecting indigenous animals such as the wood mouse or pygmy shrew.



There are nine or ten bat species in Ireland all of which are protected by law. Irish bats consume only insects. They hunt after sunset and use a form of sonar known as echolocation that enables them to navigate in the darkness. Whilst flying, the bats emit high-pitched squeaks, listen for the echoes that bounce off obstacles and determine distances by the amount of time taken for the sound waves to return.
As insects are scarce during the winter, Irish bats hibernate. This involves lowering their body temperature and heartbeat, allowing them to survive for long periods without eating.
Six bat species have been recorded in the Terryland Forest Park including the 

Leisler’s bat, the largest native species with a wingspan of up to 32cm in length, as well as the common pipistrelle, one of the smallest bat species and also the most common.  Both species roost in buildings and in the holes of trees. They eat insects whilst in flight. A single Pipistrelle weighing only c5 grammes may consume over 3,000 midges in one night.