Limerick City stands at the point where the River Shannon meets the sea water of the estuary. The Shannon supports an immense diversity of wildlife and together with its immediate surroundings acts as an ecological corridor for animals between the countryside and the urban district. The protected species Opposite-leaved Pondweed is found in the Shannon where it passes through Limerick City. The entire River Shannon, along with connected streams, riverbank vegetation, woodlands and other landscapes are protected through land use, planning and development policy.
Within Limerick City, the main natural protected area is the River Shannon and River Fergus Estuaries SPA (Special Protection Area). This area extends from the west of Limerick City as far as Foynes and Killadysert (25km). The extensive intertidal mudflats along this stretch of the estuary provide an ideal food resource for wintering waterfowl. It regularly supports in excess of 50,000 species, including internationally important populations of dunlin, Black-tailed Godwit and redshank. Nationally important populations of a further sixteen species also occur, for example cormorant, Whooper Swan, Greylag Goose, wigeon, teal, curlew, greenshank and a number of plovers.
In order to identify pressures on the water quality in the Shannon Basin region and to develop strategies to tackle sources of pollution, the Shannon River Basin Management Plan was initiated by Limerick, Clare and Roscommon County Councils.
Copyright Mike Brown
Whooper Swan - Copyright Mike Brown
Copyright Cormac Mac Gearailt
Cormorants - Copyright Cormac Mac Gearailt
Copyright Mike Brown
Greylag Goose - Copyright Mike Brown
,Courtesy of BirdWatch Ireland
Teal - Courtesy of BirdWatch Ireland
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