2012 Marsh Fritillary Survey - South and East Ireland published

Marsh Fritillary (Euphydryas aurinia) is the only invertebrate species in Ireland listed under Annex II of the EU Habitats Directive.  As part of Irelands national monitoring obligations for the species under the EU Habitats Directive, the National Parks and Wildlife Service commissioned a field survey in 2012 of sites throughout the south and east of Ireland where Marsh Fritillary are believed to occur. 

The project involved a field survey of 32 sites (containing a total of 46 sub-sites) in 2012 to assess the habitat condition of sites for the species and record the occurrence of larval webs.

The sites were located in counties Dublin, Kildare, Wicklow, Kilkenny, Tipperary, Limerick, Kerry and Cork.   

Marsh Fritillary butterfly were confirmed breeding at 16 of the 32 sites surveyed.

Of the 46 sub-sites surveyed using the habitat condition assessment, 35 sub-sites were found to be in good condition; nine sub-sites being suitable but under grazed;  one site was deemed unsuitable and one site deemed suitable.

SAM 5903

Marsh Fritillary used a variety of habitats for breeding purposes.  The commonest habitat encountered across all areas surveyed was wet grassland which was recorded at 21 sub-sites.  The second most common habitat encountered (18 sites) was cutover bog.

A site report was prepared for each site surveyed which identified issues likely to affect the breeding success of Marsh Fritillary.

The reports will shortly be available to downloaded from the  National Parks & Wildlife Service website at www.npws.ie.

© Peter Foss 2012