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Ireland or more correctly; Republic of Ireland; Poblacht na hÉireann, is a
country in north-western Europe occupying 26 of 32 counties of the island of
Ireland. The state extends over an area of about 70,273 km2.
Around 40% of the country's population of 4.9 million people resides in the
Greater Dublin Area.
From the Act of Union on 1 January 1801, until 6 December 1922, the island
of Ireland was part of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.
During the Great Famine, from 1845 to 1849, the island's population of over
8 million fell by 30%.
The state was created as the Irish Free State in 1922 as a result of the
Anglo-Irish Treaty. It had the status of Dominion until 1937 when a new
constitution was adopted, in which the state was named "Ireland" and
effectively became a republic, with an elected non-executive president as
head of state.
The western landscape mostly consists of rugged cliffs, hills and mountains.
The central lowlands are extensively covered with glacial deposits of clay
and sand, as well as significant areas of bogland and several lakes. The
highest point is Carrauntoohil; 1,038.6 m, located in the MacGillycuddy's
Reeks mountain range in the southwest. River Shannon, which traverses the
central lowlands, is the longest river in Ireland at 386 kilometres in
length. The west coast is more rugged than the east, with numerous islands,
peninsulas, headlands and bays.
Ireland has a small flora for a European country because of its small size,
lack of geological and ecological variation and its Pleistocene history.
There are 3,815 species of plant listed for Ireland.
Ireland is the
least forested country in Europe. Until the end of the Middle Ages, the land
was heavily forested with native trees such as oak, ash, hazel, birch,
alder, willow, aspen, elm, rowan, yew and Scots pine. Today, only about 10%
of Ireland is woodland, most of which is non-native conifer plantations, and
only 2% of which is native woodland. Most are grassland and bog.
are 26 different species of mammals in Ireland, among them red fox,
hedgehog, stoat, badger, Irish hare and pine marten.
Over 400 bird species have been recorded in Ireland, although many are
migratory. Arctic birds migrate here during the winter, while other birds
like the swallow come here during the summer to breed.
Only one land reptile is native to the country, the viviparous lizard;
Zootoca vivipara, while three amphibians are found in Ireland:
The common European brown frog, Rana temporaria, the Smooth Newt;
Lissotriton vulgaris, and the Natterjack Toad; Epidalea calamita.
Ireland has 375 fish species in its coastal waters and 40 freshwater species
in its rivers and lakes.
There are an estimated 11,500 species of insect recorded in Ireland.
Well, I haven't made it yet, but the plan is made...