Irish Freshwater Biologists

Annual Meeting of Irish Freshwater Biologists 2nd of March 2012 – Joly Lecture Theatre, Hamilton Building, Trinity College Dublin.

A presentation on Monaghan’s wetlands – from surveys to policy and protection – will be presented by Shirley Clerkin, Heritage Officer Monaghan County Council. 

Programme details can be seen here. 

Erica erigena habitats and distribution in western Ireland

Erica erigena on lake shore

I have uploaded a series of photographic images of Erica erigena taken during my PhD study in the 1980's so as to provide some information on the habitat of the species in Ireland and the north of Spain. 

Further images to follow in due course. 

Background: 1982 to 1986 I undertook research for my PhD on Erica erigena, The Mediterranean Heather in Ireland and northern Spain. 

My thesis title was: The Distribution, Phytosociology, Autecology and Post-glacial History of Erica erigena R. Ross in Ireland. 

This research involved an investigation of the history, autecology, and phytosociology of Erica erigena in western Ireland. The project was carried out under the following research headings: Palynology; Species Distribution; Soil nutrient levels; Phytosociology; Vegetation mapping; Water level analysis; and Comparative studies on the species in Galicia N.W. Spain. 

The images presented show Erica erigena at most of its Irish sites (first in album) and some from Galicia in northern Spain (presented at bottom of album). More infromation: Foss, P.J. & Doyle, G.J. (1988) Why has Erica erigena (the Irish Heather) such a markedly disjunct European distribution ? Plants Today 1 (5): 161-168.

Habitat Management Advice for Bugs

buglife med

Three new Scottish Invertebrate Habitat Management documents have been published, bringing the total available now to seven. These documents allow land owners to manage habitats so as to encourage invertebrate diversity, and cover not only ‘wild’ habitats such as blanket bogs, but now include school grounds, ponds and deadwood – everyone can make an important contribution to invertebrate habitat management! And although based on the Scottish situation there are likely to be similarities with the equivalent Irish habitats.

Buglife Management Downloads

Wildlife Images added to Picasa web album

Have added a number of new wildlife and wetland images (taken during the 1980 and 1990's) into my Picasa web album which currently holds 2,500 photographs. 

Picasa thumb

Check out the Atlantic Blanket Bog, Mountain Blanket Bog, Invasive Species and Fen categories. 

New Wetland Surveys Ireland website

Wetland Surveys Ireland website

During December the Wetland Surveys Ireland website was updated and refreshed to include download options for the 2011 project undertaken by staff at the company, including the Louth and Monaghan wetland surveys, and the County Kerry Invasive Species Survey

Bringing Life Back to the Bogs

Report cover

RSPB Scotland has produced a leaflet ‘Bringing Life Back to the Bogs’, which summarises the extensive peatland restoration work at the Forsinard Flows nature reserve in the Flow Country (Scotland), together with a policy report ‘Realising the Benefits of Peatlands: Overcoming policy barriers to peatland restoration’.

The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds RSPB has long been a champion of peatlands and at the heart of its work in the UK has been the massive conservation undertaking in the Flow Country. Through its work at Forsinard RSPB aims to showcase the amazing wildlife spectacle these peatlands offer and to demonstrate the wider benefits of biodiversity conservation for key services such as carbon storage.

This trialling of large scale peatland restoration techniques will inform others and encourage a step up in effort on the ground across Scotland and beyond. It is recognised that to achieve this scale of restoration and realise the many benefits, policy and fiscal support is needed to influence the management of peatlands toward the goal of restoration.

To download the leaflet and the full report, or for more information, visit:


Irish Bogland Report

Report cover

Renou-Wilson, F., Bolger, T., Bullock, C., Convery, F., Curry, J., Ward, S., Wilson, D. & Müller, C. 2011. BOGLAND: Sustainable management of peatlands in Ireland. STRIVE Report no. 75. Environmental Protection Agency, Johnstown Castle, 177 p.

Peatlands are Ireland’s last great area of wilderness, hovering between land and water, providing unusual habitats for their unique and specialist flora and fauna. Peatlands cover a large part of the land surface in the Republic of Ireland, occurring as raised bogs, blanket bogs and fens, and forming cultural landscape icons in many parts of the country. The BOGLAND project was funded as part of the Sustainable Development Research Programme of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to reveal the global significance of this national resource and the dilemmas of peatland management, utilisation and conservation.

The full report “Bogland: Sustainable management of Peatlands in Ireland (STRIVE Report no. 75)” is available at http://www.epa.ie/downloads/pubs/research/land/strive75-bogland-for-web.pdf.

The more policy-related “Sustainable Management of Peatlands in Ireland PROTOCOL DOCUMENT (STRIVE Report No. 76)” is available at http://www.epa.ie/downloads/pubs/research/land/strive76-bogland-protocol-for-printing.pdf

Also the complete report (~1000 pages) which includes each individual report will be soon available on the EPA website. www.epa.ie

© Peter Foss 2012