Sea-levels were lower then, and Ireland, as with its neighbor Britain, instead of being islands, were part of a greater continental Europe.Mesolithic middle stone age inhabitants arrived some time after 8000 , sheep, goats, cattle and cereals were imported from southwest continental Europe.Founded as a Viking settlement, the city has been Ireland's primary city since mediæval times.
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Most of Ireland's bird species come from Iceland, Greenland, Africa among other territories.
There are no snakes and only one reptile (the common lizard) is native to the country.
Hedgerows, traditionally used for maintaining and demarcating land boundaries, act as a refuge for native wild flora.
Their ecosystems stretch across the countryside and act as a network of connections to preserve remnants of the ecosystem that once covered the island.
The highest peak is Carrauntoohil (Irish language: Corrán Tuathail), which is at 3406 feet (1038 meters).
The local temperate climate is modified by the North Atlantic Current and is relatively mild.A rich heritage of culture and tradition is part of the Irish character and reputation. The ocean is responsible for the rugged western coastline, along which are many islands, peninsulas, and headlands.The island of Ireland extends over 32,556 square miles, (84,421 square kilometers) of which 83 percent belong to the republic (70,280 km²;) and the remainder constituting Northern Ireland. The main geographical features of Ireland are low central plains surrounded by a ring of coastal mountains.Agriculture is the main factor determining land-use patterns in Ireland, leaving limited land to preserve natural habitats in particular for larger wild mammals with greater territorial requirements.With no top predator in Ireland, populations of animals that cannot be controlled by smaller predators (such as the fox) are controlled by annual culling, such as semi-wild populations of deer.Subsidies under the Common Agricultural Policy which supported these agricultural practices and contributed to land-use distortions are undergoing reforms The CAP still subsidizes some potentially destructive agricultural practices, however, the recent reforms have gradually decoupled subsidies from production levels and introduced environmental and other requirements.