The North Bull Island Nature Reserve was designated a bird sanctuary in the 1930’s, then designated a national nature reserve in 1988. It is also listed as a biosphere reserve by UNESCO.

Over 180 different bird species have been recorded on the Island making it a paradise for bird watchers. There are also over 300 different plant species.

There are six mammal species on the island. One of the more famous, the Irish hare is sadly in decline. The other five include European rabbits, Brown Rats, Red Foxes, hedgehogs and field mice.

An interpretative centre was built on the island in 1986 and it aims to educate visitors about what the island has to offer.