The Marsh Fritillary Hunt is On !

SAM 7105

In conjunction with Wetland Survey Ireland and Faith Wilson, I am working on the Marsh Fritillary Survey of the Irish midlands at present. The project is being funded by the National Parks and Wildlife Service. 

The Marsh Fritillary (Euphydras aurinia), is the only insect species found in Ireland, which is listed on Annex II of the E.U. Habitats Directive. At this time of the year the larvae live in colonial nests or webs and feed on Devils Bit Scabious (Succisa pratensis). 

A number of sites have been located where populations of the butterfly occur, with the star sites being the North Bull Island Dublin and Derryville near Littleton in Tipperary. 

The picture opposite shows caterpillars on the Irish Peatland Conservation Council reserve at Lullymore in Co Kildare. 

A Day on the Bog !

Clara boardwalk

For those interested in seeing what a raised bog looks like close up.... but who want to avoid getting wet feet or damaging the fragile bog surface... a walk over the recently completed Clara Bog visitor boardwalk is the answer. 

Further information 

The boardwalk, which meanders through Clara Bog Nature Reserve, is located a 2 minute drive from the Clara Bog Visitor Centre. The boardwalk is a 1 km looped walk on Clara Bog. It will enable visitors to see the many wonderful plants, birds and animals which Clara Bog is home to and soak up the atmosphere of an exceptional raised bog in the heart of Ireland. Admission to both Clara Bog Visitor Centre and the Boardwalk are free to all. Visitors to the boardwalk are recommended to wear sturdy footwear. 

If you would like a guided tour of Clara Bog, contact the Clara Bog Visitor Centre, Clara, Offaly on 057 9368878 or e-mail claraguides@environ.ie

(Photograph: P. Crushell)

Wetland Maps of Ireland Update

Wetland Map of Ireland

In conjunction with Wetland Survey Ireland we have been developing a project to create a map which shows all Irish wetlands which have been surveyed in the country and show key habitat and conservation information on these areas. 

A revised version of the Google Fusion "Wetland Map of Ireland" has just been up loaded, with Counties Monaghan and Louth being the best covered at a national scale. Data presented includes the results from the 2012 wetland surveys in these counties. Information is currently shown on 1,183 Irish wetlands.

Plans are under way to upload data for Sligo, Meath, Cavan, Wicklow and Clare in the near future. 

We hope the information will be of use to people wanting to find out more about wetlands in their county or for professionls who want to research sites at a particular locatlity. Making the map accessible via Google makes it easy to access and with a suitable device (smart phone, iPAD etc.) totally mobile no matter where u are in the country!  


The benefits from restoring degraded Irish bogs

epa Bog restoration book cover

The Environmental Protection Agency has launched the final report of the EPA-funded ‘Carbon Restore’ project. 

The EPA research Report shows that breathing new life into cut-away and degraded boglands would provide climate, biodiversity, water and economic benefits. The results from this study indicate that restoration at Bellacorick has been successful with regard to re-establishing the Carbon sink function. This observation highlights the potential use of restored industrial cutaway peatlands for Carbon offsetting.

The report was launched at an international Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) meeting held in Dublin in July.

You can download the report here

UK Peatland Restoration - demonstrating success


An excellent publication from IUCN UK Peatland Programme showcasing successful bog and some fen restoration projects across the UK was recently launched. 

A variety of case studies illustrate opportunities for restoration and sustainable management as well as innovative ways of engaging people in conservation action for bogs. 

This publication was launched at the symposium 'Investing in Peatlands - Demonstrating Success' jointly hosted with the British Ecological Society.

You can download the publication here

© Peter Foss 2012