Otter on Rocks on Mull , Isle of Mull, Argyll, wildlifeonmull
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WildlifeonMull Mammals

WildlifeonMull Isle of Mull Mammals

Exploring Isle of Mull Mammals

Mull is a naturalist heaven with an abundance of Wildlife. Several ecologies are bundled up on one island.
The Mull Otter Group is a group of otter enthusiasts who have come together in the hope of making life a little better for the Otters of Mull, rescue otters in need of assistance, and with the help of the Scottish Society for Prevention Cruelty Animals (SSPCA).

Red Deer Stags on Hillside-Mull-Isle-of-Mull-Argyll

Coastal Dwellers

The shores of Mull are home to an array of fascinating mammals. Otters, a ubiquitous sight along the coastline, leave their territorial marks known as spraints on prominent features. Often, these creatures can be observed hunting in the sea, occasionally bringing their larger prey close to the shore. Female otters give birth to cubs throughout the year, sometimes seen in playful family groups near the water’s edge.

Harbour (common) and grey seals frequent various locations along the shore, either swimming in the sea or basking on rocks. Observers may catch them “bottling,” a term used when seals doze with their heads bobbing above the surface like floating bottles, or “porpoising,” resembling dolphins as they arch out of the water. Local seal species birth pups, with harbour seals typically giving birth in June and greys in October. Occasionally, rare visitors such as the bearded seal from the Adriatic make appearances, lingering around Loch na Keal’s shores.

Seal pup on Rocks Mull Isle of Mull Argyll

Red deer are abundant on the island, often spotted in various locations, especially during winter when they forage along the coast, feasting on seaweed washed onto beaches and rocks. During October, the red deer rut reaches its climax, marked by the resounding roar of stags across the moorland. Excursions to witness these majestic creatures competing for dominance are popularly organized during this period.

Mull’s fauna presents some distinctive features. Roe deer are absent, with fallow deer forming small herds in select areas, notably around Knock’s woodland. Mountain hares are present in relatively small numbers due to the constant predation by golden eagles and the fascinating coat change in winter, transitioning to snow camouflage is absent on mull due to the limited mountain snow. Despite challenges like habitat loss due to over-grazing, they persist, sometimes displaying unique coat patterns. Rabbits, common across the island, experience population fluctuations due to factors like myxomatosis.

Mull Wildlife WildlifeonMull A brown hare camouflaged among a rocky landscape covered with seaweed, alert and blending into its coastal environment. Guided Mull Wildlife Tours on Isle of Mull

Wild goats, with their impressive horns, roam Mull in small herds, contributing to the island’s ecological balance, particularly in maintaining flower-rich habitats along remote coasts like Carsaig. Stoats and weasels are sparsely distributed, while native polecats, although rare, exhibit traits of domesticated ferrets turned wild. American minks, an introduced species, pose a challenge despite control efforts due to their impact on native wildlife. Pine martens, a recent addition to Mull’s fauna, are gradually increasing in numbers and distribution.

Marine Marvels

The waters surrounding Mull host various marine mammals, including harbour porpoises and a resident pod of bottlenose dolphins. As summer warms the seas, additional cetaceans like common dolphins, minke whales, white-sided dolphins, and orcas make appearances. Basking sharks also frequent these waters, particularly during plankton blooms. While organized boat trips offer opportunities to spot these creatures, sightings can also occur from ferries and land, especially in areas like the Sound of Mull and Tobermory Bay.

Mull Wildlife WildlifeonMull A whale's dorsal fin cutting through the tranquil blue waters near the Isle of Mull. Guided Mull Wildlife Tours on Isle of Mull

Local Livestock

Several farms on Mull maintain traditional livestock breeds, such as Highland cattle, known for their picturesque appearance. These farms, like Ardalanish near Bunessan, raise various sheep breeds, including Scottish black-face and Cheviots, alongside Hebridean, Herdwick, Shetland, Jacob, and the distinctive Zwartbles.

Seeking a wildlife tour ……

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