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.

© Peter Foss 2012