This is the Wildlife publications section. Here you can find all publications, reports and presentations for this heritage area of interest.
Climate change, impacts & vulnerability in Europe (2012)
This European Environment Agency (EEA) report presents information on past and projected climate change and related impacts in Europe, based on a range of indicators. The report also assesses the vulnerability of society, human health and ecosystems in Europe and identifies those regions in Europe most at risk from climate change.
View the summary report on Climate change, impacts & vulnerability in Europe (2012) [pdf 6.7mb]
Irish Farms & the Lesser Horseshoe Bat (2012)
The Vincent Wildlife Trust, with support from the Heritage Council, has produced a user-friendly leaflet that sets out some simple actions that can be taken by farmers to help conserve the Lesser Horseshoe Bat.
The Lesser Horseshoe Bat is found in the Cork, Kerry, Limerick, Clare, Galway and Mayo and has the most legislation protecting it, compared to other bats Ireland. It is also one of our smallest, weighing just 4-9 g. Bats are a beneficial addition to any farm as they help to manage insect populations.
View Irish Farms & the Lesser Horseshoe Bat [pdf 2.3mb].
Best Practice Guidance for Habitat Survey & Mapping (2011)
The final version of Heritage Council's Best Practice Guidance for Habitat Survey and Mapping is now available to download. This publication presents current best practice guidance for survey and mapping of habitats in the Republic of Ireland, and is aimed primarily at those who conduct or commission habitat surveys. Its objective is to standardise and improve habitat survey and mapping methods in order to achieve compatability among surveys and surveyors, and to ensure the quality and consistency of the maps and data produced.
The Heritage Council would like to take this opportunity to thank all those involved in the preparation of the document, the authors, the editor, the Steering Group members, and all those who responded to the consultation process and participated in the peer review. This publication is only available as a PDF that can be downloaded from our website, hard copies are not being made available due to resource constraints. Also available to download are digital examples of a habitat mapping dataset (referred to in Section 7.2 of the publication).
Download the printable publication [PDF 8.2MB].
Download a '.zip' file/folder containing the digital examples of a habitat mapping dataset [56K].
A version for easy reading & navigation onscreen is also available:
The sidebar on the right hand side is hyperlinked for easy movement throughout the document, when you want to find a specific section, as opposed to reading the document through, while the text can be easily read when each page is viewed at 100%. View the on-screen version of the publication [PDF 8.3MB].
Wild Child Poll: Quantitative Survey (2010)
This research, commissioned by Heritage Council, was undertaken in order to understand the types of activities that today's adults undertook as children, and the extent to which their own children undertake the same activities today. An agreed questionnaire was included in the Behaviour & Attitude July 2010 TeleBarometer. TeleBarometer is a nationally representative survey of adults 16+, with quota controls on gender, age, social class, region and area. The fieldwork took place between 20th July and 3rd August 2010.
View Wild Child Poll: Quantitative Survey [pdf 1.11mb].
County Wicklow Biodiversity Action Plan 2010-2015 (2010)
Published by Wicklow County Council with the support of the Heritage Council. The biodiversity of County Wicklow contributes enormously to the local economy, particularly in sectors such as agriculture and forestry, but also in less apparent ways such as flooding abatement and erosion control. While often taken for granted, the maintenance of good biodiversity in County Wicklow is crucial also to the protection of our scenic landscape, and to ensuring the continuation of the associated benefits for our quality of life, recreation and tourism.
Download County Wicklow Biodiversity Action Plan 2010-2015 [PDF 7MB].
Our Wetlands Heritage (2010)
Published by Irish Wildlife Trust, with support from the Heritage Council. The island of Ireland is famous for its wet climate. We receive more rain than can be evaporated from the surface, which maintains our many kinds of wetland; marshes, swamps, bogs, fens, turloughs, salt marshes, estuaries, lagoons and wet woodland carr are just some of the wetland types, each with its own ecosystem which are outlined in this publication.
Download Our Wetlands Heritage [PDF 1.2MB].
Exploring Biodiversity: A Guide for Educators around the World (2010)
Published by Conservation International (CI) and World Wildlife Fund-US (WWF). This publication provides a number of ways to engage young people with nature and to learn about biodiversity. Its illustrations highlight species not found in Ireland but it also has a section focused on distinctive local biodiversity in section 3. You may find it provides some helpful tips and ideas for educational purposes.
Download Exploring Biodiversity: A Guide for Educators around the World here [PDF 3.6MB].
Biodiversity Awareness, Understanding & Impact of its Loss (2010)
A Barometer Survey prepared by Martha Fanning for the Heritage Council. Market research was required to measure consumer awareness, understanding and interest in biodiversity. The research approach was an agreed questionnaire, measuring awareness, understanding and impact of its loss in the April No.2 wave of B&A’s 'Barometer' survey. Barometer is a nationally representative survey of the adult population, aged 16+, quota controlled on gender, age, social class and region to correctly reflect the known demographics of the Republic of Ireland. It comprises of 1,000 interviews. The fieldwork took place between 13th–22nd April, 2010.
Download the Biodiversity Awareness Understanding & Impact of its Loss presentation here [PDF 810KB].
Wild Things at School: A Book for Primary School Teachers (2009)
Published by Laois, Meath and Monaghan County Councils with support from the Heritage Council. This publication, written by Eanna Ni Lamhna and illustrated by Christine Warner is a beautiful resource for primary school teachers. A limited supply of the book is available from your local education centre.
View Wild Things at School: A Book for Primary School Teachers here [PDF 3.1MB].
A general Licence has been issued by the National Parks and Wildlife Service to all centres of Education in Ireland to collect and study frogs as per page 33 of Wild Things at School. The local NPWS conservation officer must be contacted prior to any activity commencing under the terms of the licence. The spawn/ tadpoles must be released in due course at the location of capture, or into a suitable waterbody as near as possible to the original capture site, if the original site has dried up. The full terms of the licence can be viewed at www.npws.ie/media/npws/publications/legaldocs/Ferdia.pdf
Cork City Biodiversity Action Plan 2009-2014 (2009)
Published by Cork City Council. The Cork City Biodiversity Action Plan identifies the amazing wealth of wildlife and nature that exists in Cork City. The plan also sets out actions to raise awareness and help to protect and enhance Cork City’s natural heritage.
Download the Cork City Biodiversity Action Plan 2009-2014 here [PDF 1.2MB]
Biodiversity & Development in County Kildare: Good Practice Guidelines for Developers (2009)
Published by Kildare County Council. This publication is designed to help developers understand the need for biodiversity conservation in terms of planning and legal requirements including the Wildlife Act (1976), Wildlife (Amendment) Act 2000 and the E.U. Habitats Directive (1997) and the importance of biodiversity and natural habitats. This leaflet has been produced in recognition of the fact that nature conservation 'adds value' to new development. It advises on the benefits of biodiversity and how biodiversity conservation can be integrated into the development process.
Download Good Practice Guidelines for Developers [PDF 2.4MB].
Biodiversity & Development in County Kildare: Good Practice Guidelines for Householders (2009)
Published by Kildare County Council. The aim of this leaflet is to provide information to householders about biodiversity outlining simple steps to promote awareness of habitats and our natural heritage. While some of the information is targeted at special groups, it is all relevant to protecting and increasing biodiversity in your area.
Download Good Practice Guidelines for Householders [PDF 1.5MB].
Ireland's Coastal Seaweed (2009)
Seaweed is one of Ireland’s least-used resources. As an island with a 7,000km coastline, located in the warm and fertile waters of the Gulf Stream, we have an abundance of many different kinds of seaweed. Although we currently use only a small fraction of Irish seaweed, this situation is changing. Attention is turning to the sea as a source of food, energy, and raw material for the chemical and pharmaceutical industries. Ireland’s interesting history of harvesting seaweed is about to begin a new chapter.
Download Ireland's Coastal Seaweed [pdf 3.7mb].
An Investigation of the Impact of Development Projects on Bat Populations: Comparing Pre- & Post-Development Bat Faunas (2008)
Published by Bat Conservation Ireland with support from the Heritage Council. This report presents work undertaken during the field season of 2008 where twelve projects which constitute a selection of development projects previously surveyed for bat populations were resurveyed by Bat Conservation Ireland. Mitigation measures implemented for bat populations were investigated to report their effectiveness for retaining such recorded bat fauna post-development. This report presents these results and endeavours to provide a measure of the effectiveness of such mitigation on local bat fauna.
View An Investigation of the Impact of Development Projects on Bat Populations: Comparing Pre- & Post-Development Bat Faunas [pdf 2.6].
A Bat Survey of Bridges Identified by the All-Ireland Daubenton’s Bat Waterway Survey as Potential Bat Roosts (2008)
Published by Bat Conservation Ireland with support from the Heritage Council. This report presents work undertaken during the field season of 2008. Bat Conservation Ireland surveyors surveyed 80 bridges in 15 counties across the country. 12% of these bridges had evidence of bats while 31% of bridges surveyed were considered suitable for roosting bats.
Bridges are considered to be important roosting sites for bats, in particular, the stone masonry bridges. Such species include: Daubenton’s bat, Natterer’s bats brown long-eared bat, whiskered bat and common pipistrelle bat . An inventory of important bridges in relation to bats can provide local authorities with information on ‘best practice’ for future works on bridges as a result of road maintenance and vehicular access.
View A Bat Survey of Bridges Identified by the All-Ireland Daubenton’s Bat Waterway Survey as Potential Bat Roosts [pdf 2.6mb].
Ecological Survey for Moynalty, Co. Meath Local Area Plan (2008)
Published by BEC Consultants for Meath County Council with support from the Heritage Council. A habitat map for Moynalty in Co. Meath has been produced to aid in the finalisation of Local Area Plan for the town. Recommendations are also made regarding the future management and development of the areas surveyed.
Download Ecological Survey for Moynalty Local Area Plan [PDF 2.3MB].
Ecological Survey for Slane, Co. Meath Local Area Plan (2008)
Published by BEC Consultants for Meath County Council with support from the Heritage Council. A habitat map for Slane in Co. Meath has been produced to aid in the finalisation of Local Area Plan for the town. Recommendations are also made regarding the future management and development of the areas surveyed.
Download Ecological Survey for Slane Local Area Plan here [PDF 2.3MB]
Bat & Bird Survey Guidelines for Traditional Farm Buildings (2008)
Many traditional farm buildings may be home to bats, as well as nesting birds. As these are protected by law, buildings in receipt of a REPS 4 Traditional Farm Buildings Grant may require a bat and/ or bird survey before any works commence. The Heritage Council has prepared guidance that the surveyors must follow when undertaking these surveys under this scheme. This is to ensure that the survey is undertaken in line with current best practice, and that the works are designed in such a way as not to impact upon the protected wildlife.
View Bat Survey Guidelines: Traditional Farm Buildings [pdf 11.1mb].
View Bird Survey Guidelines: Traditional Farm Buildings [pdf 43.6kb].
Our Limestone Heritage (2008)
Published by the Irish Wildlife Trust with support from the Heritage Council. Ireland is home to extensive areas of ice-scoured limestone pavement; a rare and endangered habitat. The bare expanses of limestone, now criss-crossed by deep fissures, date back to glacial times. Within the island of Ireland there is estimated to be 36,300 hectares of limestone pavement. Most is found in Counties Clare and Galway, with the most southerly outcrop in Killarney National Park and the most northerly area in Ballintra in County Donegal. In Northern Ireland limestone pavement is restricted to west Fermanagh.
Download Our Limestone Heritage [PDF 1.7MB].
Review of Policy on Forestry & the National Heritage (2008)
This review of Heritage Council forest policy was carried out by a team of six foresters and ecologists at the request of Woodlands of Ireland. The review was carried out by collating and analysing published, grey, and oral information relevant to forest management in Ireland. The emphasis was on science-based knowledge, but the team also drew on its considerable collective experience of working in the forestry sector. Submissions were sought from all interested parties, and a public meeting was held to present draft conclusions followed by discussion.
Download Review of Policy on Forestry & the National Heritage 2008 [PDF 1.8MB]
Ireland's Coastline Seaweed (2008)
Seaweed is gathered as food, processed and used as fertiliser, forms an ingredient in many cosmetics and spa treatments, and is the subject of biotechnological and pharmaceutical research. This poster/publication explores the contemporary and historical uses of seaweed, the role of seaweed in biodiversity and provides references for further information.
Download Ireland's Coastline Seaweed here [PDF 3.6MB]
National Biodiversity Plan Submission (2008)
In January 2008, the National Parks and Wildlife Service of the Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government announced the development of Ireland’s second National Biodiversity Plan 2008-2012. The Heritage Council has been invited to prepare a submission on the new Plan.
Download National Biodiversity Plan - Heritage Council Submission [DOC 3MB].
A Guide to Habitats in Ireland (2007)
Published by the Heritage Council, 2007 (original published in 2000). This publication sets out a standard scheme for identifying, describing and classifying wildlife habitats in Ireland. It also covers natural, semi-natural and artificial habitats of terrestrial and freshwater environments, of inshore marine waters, and of urban and rural areas.
The classification is presented within a hierarchical framework and is designed for application at a variety of different levels in terms of scale, detail and user expertise. It is intended as a first-step approach for general habitat recording rather than a basis for detailed study and evaluation. The availability and widespread use of a standard classification scheme is important in helping to standardise data collection on habitats which, in turn, will assist in the management and conservation of Ireland's natural heritage.
Please note that the 2007 reprint contains Notes to Readers - this includes additional information on the links between a number of Irish habitats and EU annexed habitats.
Download A Guide to Habitats in Ireland [PDF 5MB].
Farmland Habitats (2007)
Farmland habitats are of crucial importance to our native Irish wildlife. Important wildlife habitats may be designated as Natural Heritage Areas (NHAs), Special Areas of Conservation (SACs) or Special Protection Areas (SPAs). This publication describes the types of habitats that may be found on Irish farmland, their usefulness for wildlife, and the farmer’s role in maintaining and enhancing wildlife.
Download Farmland Habitats [PDF 1.1MB].
Kildare's Hedgerows: An action of the County Kildare Heritage Plan (2006)
Published by Kildare County Council with support from the Heritage Council. Kildare’s network of hedgerows is a huge asset to the county for agriculture, landscape, water quality, carbon sequestration, employment and our wild flora and fauna. The survey was conducted by Neil Foulkes and funded by Kildare County Council and the Heritage Council. The aim of the survey was to record the extent, species composition, structure, condition and management of the county’s hedgerows.
Download Kildare's Hedgerows [PDF 740KB].
The Importance of Biodiversity To Human Health (2005)
'The most important current issue for planet Earth is the mass extinction event that is unfolding around us as a result of climatic and environmental meltdown'.
Extract from article by Prof. Chris Shaw; Professor in Drug Discovery within the School of Pharmacy, Queen’s University Belfast. Prof. Shaw’s work involves the discovery and characterisation of biologically active agents within nature, most notably from amphibian venoms that are harvested worldwide.
View The Importance of Biodiversity To Human Health [pdf 95kb].
Conserving & Enhancing Wildlife in Towns and Villages: A Guide for Local Community Groups (2005)
Towns and villages can support a surprisingly wide range of wildlife habitats and species of local, or even national conservation interest. This guide provides advice to those who want to take action to conserve, protect and enhance wildlife in their town or village.
Download Conserving & Enhancing Wildlife in Towns and Villages [PDF 500kB].
Conserving Bats: How Local Authorities Can Help (2004)
Bats need to be considered by local authorities when addressing issues such as building construction, habitat management, and bridge maintenance. Much can be done to conserve these mammals if they are considered during remedial works and development plans.
View Conserving Bats: How Local Authorities Can Help [pdf 7.6mb].
A Review of Ireland’s CAP Rural Development Plan 2000-2006: Implications for Natural Heritage (2003)
A practical appreciation of the workings of the Rural Development Plan and its effects on natural heritage values. Focuses on pastoral farming systems, and the contribution that these systems make to the maintenance of the natural heritage interest of the Irish countryside.
Download Review of Ireland’s CAP Rural Development Plan [PDF 1.2MB].
Conservation Plan: Bere Island, County Cork (2003)
The stimulus for this Plan arose from the islanders’ concern to ensure the long term survival of their island’s unique features. The significance of Bere Island, as the Plan reveals, is due to the presence of a mosaic of different aspects of its heritage, both built and natural.
Download Conservation Plan: Bere Island, County Cork [PDF 7.65MB].
Recommendations for the Establishment of a National Biological Records Centre (2003)
An assessment of the need for a biological records centre in Ireland, proposing the most appropriate framework for making biological data available to policy and decision-makers. The recommendations contained in this policy paper set out how a National Biological Records Centre could be established, and identifies the resources needed.
Download Recommendations for the Establishment of a National Biological Records Centre here [PDF 2.87MB].
Heritage Appraisal of Indicative Forest Strategies (2002)
Each Local Authority in Ireland, in association with the Forest Service, is required to develop an Indicative Forest Strategy (IFS). An IFS provides a non-prescriptive policy framework for Local Authorities, and a guide for companies and individuals that wish to engage in forestry. This document presents recommendations in a format that is useful for influencing the formulation of these strategies. It provides a framework for all involved in the planning and promotion of afforestation to maximise the contribution that forestry can make to the enhancement of Ireland's national heritage.
View Heritage Appraisal of Indicative Forest Strategies [pdf 217kb].
Forestry & the National Heritage: A Review of the Heritage Council's Forestry Policy (2002)
The Heritage Council's 1st Policy Paper on Forestry & the National Heritagewas published in 1999, three years after the Government's Strategic Plan forthe forestry sector (Forest Service, 1996). The most important changes since 1996 have been stimulated by international policy developments. Currently, the emphasis is on sustainable forestry management, arising from recent international agreements and certification of forest products. The other significant policy changes are to legislation relating to forestry and the introduction of the Native Woodland Scheme.
Download Forestry & the National Heritage: A Review of the Heritage Council's Forestry Policy here [PDF 184KB].
Bridge Usage by Bats in County Leitrim & County Sligo (1999)
The main objective of this survey was to provide further evidence of the extent to which bats rely on bridges as roost sites. The survey was conducted between late April and mid-November 1998 in north Leitrim and selected regions of Sligo. A total of 174 bridges was surveyed. Recommendations are made regarding bridge maintenance procedures and the conservation of bat roosts in bridges.
Download Bridge Usage by Bats in County Leitrim & County Sligo here [PDF 839KB].
Policy Paper on: Agriculture & the National Heritage (1999)
If existing schemes are to be retained the Council considers the recommendations contained in this report to be essential for the identification, protection, preservation and enhancement of the national heritage. However, the Council’s work in other areas, particularly its examination of state sector spend on heritage, suggests that the potential impact of agriculture as a whole extends beyond these schemes and impacts on the entire socio-economic structure of the countryside.
Download Heritage Council's Policy Paper on: Agriculture & the National Heritage here [PDF 78KB].
Policy Paper on: Forestry & the National Heritage (1999)
Forestry has considerable potential to enhance Ireland’s biological and landscape diversity, offering aesthetic and amenity benefits while safeguarding our existing heritage and providing real economic benefit to local communities. However, it also has the potential to cause considerable damage to Ireland’s heritage. The recommendations in this report seek to ensure the identification, protection, preservation and enhancement of the national heritage within the context of the Heritage Council's Strategic Plan.
Download Heritage Council's Policy Paper on: Forestry & the National Heritage here [PDF 106KB].
The Arable Weed Flora of the Rye Crop on the Aran Islands, Co. Galway (1994)
Published by Andrew Bleasdale, 1994. In the early 1990s, a study was undertaken of the arable weed flora of the rye crop on the Aran Islands. This study is frequently referenced in more recent works on the Aran Islands, including the Heritage Council’s own research into high nature value farming practices.
As the study itself states, “clearly the Aran Islands are of interest from a cultural and historical perspective. They are also of great interest botanically and archaeobotanically in terms of the plant species they contain at present. Relictual agricultural practices are still extant on Inis Meáin in particular, with the result that the afore-mentioned arable weeds continue to grow here in association with the rye crop. These weed communities present a unique source of study when one considers that these habitats are one of the last remaining examples of traditional agriculture in north-western Europe.”
The study seeks to understand why the rye crop on the Aran Islands was heavily contaminated with rare weed species, such as darnel, bristle or black oat and spring wild oat, and why these species were often extinct on the mainland, in order to help inform their management and conservation.
Download The Arable Weed Flora of the Rye Crop on the Aran Islands [PDF 90MB].
Please note that this is a very large file and may take some time to download.