International Bog Day - Celebration of 30 Year Jubilee of the Dutch Foundation for Conservation of Irish Bogs


On the 28 July the Irish Peatland Conservation Council celebrated International Bog Day at the Bog of Allen Centre in Kildare with a celebration of the 30 Year Jubilee of the Dutch Foundation for Conservation of Irish Bogs which was founded in 1983 under the Chairmanship of Drs Matthijs Schouten. 

Matthijs Schouten gave a very entertaining presentation on the fundraising and bog awareness raising work of the Dutch Foundation from 1983 to 1993, which culminated in the purchase of 4 Irish bogs which the Dutch people donated to the Irish people in the mid 1980's. 

This was followed by a presentation by Jim Ryan, Senior Scientist at the National Parks and Wildlife Service who took up the story in 1993 and brought us forward to 2013 with a detailed account of the current work being undertaken in the developement of the National Raised Bog Conservation Plan. 

Of course no birthday celebration would be complete without a gift to remember it by, and the Dutch Foundation once again showed its support for Irish bog conservation work being undertaken by the IPCC, with the presentation of a 30,000 Euro gift to support their peatland conservation work here in Ireland. Dr Catherine O Connell indicated that these funds were especially welcome at the moment as the Council had just signed contracts to purchase Girley Bog in County Meath for conservation.  

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Members of the Dutch Foundation and staff at IPCC with the cheque for 30,000 Euro to help bog conservation projects in Ireland. 

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The Dutch Foundation also presented Jim Ryan with a special award for his contribution to raised bog conservation in Ireland. 

For further information on the Dutch Foundation for Conservation of Irish Bogs check out www.ipcc.ie

Straminergon stramineum matt at Lough Bane, Westmeath

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During a survey of Lough Bane (pNHA 001721) a dense patch of Straminergon stramineum was located in a poor fen area beside a small bog lake on a remnant peat area. Usually the moss grows as single strands among Sphagnum and other moss species. The growth of the moss as a larger mono dominant stand was unusal. Thanks to Joanne Denyer for confirming the moss identification. 

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.

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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