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First Irish county wetland survey completed - Kildare 2014 published

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The 2014 Kildare Wetland Survey III involved a field survey of the outstanding fifty freshwater wetlands in County Kildare, with the aim of identifying the specific wetlands and ecological interest of each.   

The 2014 survey completed the 3 year wetland survey project, funded by Kildare County Council and Heritage Council, undertaken from 2012 to 2014, to map and characterise all 229 wetlands in the county. This makes county Kildare the first Irish county with a complete wetland inventory. 

Field surveys of 141 wetland sites were undertaken over the three year period.

 The sites surveyed in 2014 had previously been identified as being of potential interest during the County Kildare Wetland project prepared in 2012. 

The sites selected for survey were believed to contain notable wetland habitats including transition mire, raised and cutaway bog, fen and marsh as well as potential breeding sites for Marsh Fritillary butterfly.  

The Kildare Wetland Survey III report presents the results of the 2014 field survey and includes detailed site descriptions and habitat maps for the wetlands surveyed.

The combined data from the County Kildare Wetland Survey (KWS) database and County Kildare Wetland Map (KWM) dataset was used to produce the individual site survey reports presented in KWS 2012, 2013 and 2014. 

Within the county, twelve sites are ranked as being of international conservation importance (A); 33 are ranked nationally important (B); 17 are ranked county conservation value (C+) and 62 sites are of local conservation importance (high value) (C). The remaining sites are of lower ecological value.

Results of the survey suggest that many wetland sites are currently being adversely impacted by damaging activities. The most common damaging activities recorded include: drainage (40 sites), peat extraction (18 sites), and diffuse water pollution (22 sites). In all, no impacting activities were recorded from just twenty sites that were surveyed.   

The 2014 survey information has also been used to update site descriptions, habitat information and photographs on the Wetland Map of Ireland. The Wetland Map of Ireland now displays a total of 5,530 sites across the country.

App species recording for Ireland

A new biodiversity app for smartphones and pads was launched in August by the National Biodiversity Data Centre. 

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This means that casual and professional nature watchers can contribute to the building of the national information resource on our environment.  The mobile app has been designed to be easy to use and allows the recording of a photo, a location, and details of species, with upload to the data management and mapping system of the National Biodiversity Data Centre for Ireland.  

The free app can be downloaded from Apple App Store or Google Play. 

Award for Norwegian Mire Scientist

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His Majesty Harald, King of Norway, has appointed Professor Asbjørn Moen Knight 1st Class of the Royal Norwegian Order of St. Olav. The Order of St. Olav is awarded to individuals for remarkable accomplishments on behalf of the country and humanity. 

Asbjørn Moen has had, and continues to have an enormous influence on bog or mire research and conservation, not only in Norway but worldwide. His scientific achievements in mire ecology and conservation management are widely recognized. He has participated in scientific mire expeditions and excursions in 20 countries including Ireland in 1990. 

It is largely through his efforts that Norway has an excellent mire inventory and a mire conservation system that sets the highest international standards with respect to quality and representation. Of global importance has also been his leading involvement in the International Mire Conservation Group (IMCG), the world organization of mire conservationists. 

The IMCG Field Symposium, Congress and General Assembly in Norway 1994, organized by Asbjørn, is considered the best IMCG events ever (outside of the Irish excursion organised by IPCC !), not only because of the excellent organisation and the wide richness of Norwegian peatlands displayed, but also because of its hitherto unequalled international participation. The Norway Symposium and its Trondheim Declaration changed the IMCG from a Europe-centred science-orientated organisation to a global one for mire conservation.

Conrgratulations Asbjorn !

Read more on the International Mire Conservation Group website: www.imcg.net 

© Peter Foss 2012