Surveying for Wildlife in your Area


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Surveying for Wildlife in your Town, Investigating Local Protected Areas.

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Surveying for Wildlife in your Area

  1. 1. Tidy Towns SeminarSurveying for wildlife in your town
  2. 2. 1. Investigate local protected areas• Special Areas Of Conservation (SACs)- for special habitats and species, 9 in Waterford• Special Protection Areas (SPAs)- for protection of birds, 6 in Waterford• Proposed Natural Heritage Areas (pNHAs)- important areas for biodiversity- 28 in Waterford• Nature Reserves- areas of importance for wildlife, 1 in Waterford
  3. 3. 2. Do your own research• Most of our native habitats, animals and plants live in unprotected areas, and are vulnerable to disturbance or destruction due to human activity- it is important to document what we have while we still have itA) Habitats• Where different types of animals and plants live, e.g. hedgerows, broadleaf woods, conifer woods, grassland, reed beds, salt marsh, old buildings/stone walls, etc• Draw a map of your town showing which habitats are present and wildlife of each area
  4. 4. B) Species• Carry out surveys and make species lists for plants, insects, mammals, birds and other wildlife- invite groups like BirdWatch Ireland, Irish Wildlife Trust, MISE Project, Irish Whale and Dolphin Group to help you• Could make a good project for schools, scouts or a group of interested volunteers• Compile your data and submit it to National Biodiversity Data Centre- any information gathered is very useful for future conservation efforts (see• Try to monitor species you have found- this too is very useful information
  5. 5. 3. Raise awareness!• It is important to let people know where our protected sites are and why they are important• Maybe run or attend guided walks or talks by people who are knowledgeable about different types of wildlife, and encourage others to attend them• Compile and distribute information about protected areas and local habitats to schools/libraries etc and possibly insert information boards or signage where appropriate
  6. 6. 4. Habitat Management Designated wildlife areas• Try to identify key areas for wildlife in your town, designate them as such and tell people about the value of these places• In designated wildlife areas, remove rubbish, clear invasive species (e.g. Japanese Knotweed) and try to keep at least part of the site free of any human disturbance• Relatively little management should be needed, depending on the site- let nature take its course!• Try to draw up a biodiversity action plan for your town
  7. 7. General wildlife management• A little “untidiness” is a good thing! Small patches of “weeds”, “waste ground” or scrub can be excellent habitat for wildlife• Wherever possible, use native plants- avoid exotic species, especially invasives. Native plants provide better habitat for birds, insects, etc.• Try also to retain “wildlife corridors” (e.g. hedgerows) to keep separate habitats connected
  8. 8. Habitat creation & improvement• Consider creating areas of new habitat for wildlife- insert bird or bat boxes, plant trees or a small woodland, create ponds or wetlands, or let an area “go wild”• “Less is more”- provide the basic template and try to let wildlife colonise an area naturally• Seek advice on how to do this, especially if you are close to a protected area, e.g. from NPWS county conservation ranger
  9. 9. Useful websites• – National Biodiversity Data Centre• - National Parks and Wildlife•••• – Irish Whale and Dolphin Group•••