Red Deer and Fawn Oil on Canvas
- Artist: Mary McGrath
- Dimensions: 60 x 50 cm (23.6 x 19.7 inches)
Red deer are the only deer species native to Ireland. They are believed to have been here since the end of the last Ice Age (c. 10,000 BC). However as a result of deforestation, over hunting and the Great Famine (1845 – 1847) many populations became extinct surviving only in the woodlands and mountains around Killarney. Purebred numbers declined between 1900 and 1960 to as few as 60. Non Native Red Deer are found elsewhere in Ireland but were introduced from Scotland in the 19th Century. Conservation efforts continue in Kerry and a high priority is attached to maintaining the genetic purity of the native herd.