Irish Biodiversity threatened

Ireland has introduced some measures to help halt the loss of biodiversity.

The National Biodiversity plan and Countdown 2010 are two policies working together to help protect biodiversity. In addition, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in its strategy "2020 Vision – Protecting and Improving Ireland’s Environment" has set out a long-term vision for Ireland’s environment to 2020.

Ireland's changing climate has also resulted in the decreasing incidence of edge-of-range-species including Dunlin (an Arctic breeding wading bird) and the Arctic Char (a salmonoid fish hanging on in some mountain lakes here). In the past 30 years a major downturn has taken place, so much so that 29 different bird species and 120 species of flowering plants are in serious decline. For example, the Pearl Mussel is facing an uncertain future because of polluted rivers.

The latest legislation governing biodiversity can be found here.

Changes in habitats are also affecting bumblebees. Grasslands in particular support an enormous variety of species. Changes in farming practice and the increasing use of pesticides are having a negative effect on biodiversity.

Native species that have become extinct over the past 30 years include:

  • The Corn Bunting
  • The Corncock

Species that are under serious threat include:

  • The Pearl Mussel
  • Six species of bumblebee
  • The Barn Owl
  • The Golden Plover
  • Waxcap (fungi)
  • Marsh Fritillary Butterfly
  • Green-winged orchid
  • Irish lady tresses
  • Corncrake

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