The rabbit is the mammal most likely to be seen in the dunes Though common, it does not seem to be as damaging to the course as it has proven to be elsewhere. Clusters of its small circular droppings indicate its presence as do its warren holes in the sandy banks. The Irish hare is shier, less gregarious and a lot less damaging than its smaller relative.
One is most likely to encounter it in the early morning and on the castle course. The other mammals, from the tiny pigmy shrew to the fox, are predominantly nocturnal and golfers are unlikely to see them in the course of a round. However, footprints in damp sand indicate their nocturnal meanderings. Those of the fox may turn up anywhere while otter prints are to be seen along the edge of the saltmarsh and behind the boulder coastal defences along the course perimeter. The mink, escapee from fur-farms is known from many parts of Co. Clare. It may well be an inhabitant of the Inagh estuary.
The feral goat, symbol of Lahinch links, is the largest mammal found in the dunes. Numbers are small and maintained thus due to the propensity for goat herds to overgraze. Their presence on the course is a reminder of the connection between animal and man, between wild habitat and cultivation, and the importance of maintaining a balance between the two.