Crucial wetlands survey urged

 

A national survey of Irish wetlands is crucial to protecting them, say the creators of an online map.

Ecologists with environmental consultancy Wetland Surveys Ireland Dr Peter Foss and Dr Patrick Crushell have created a Map of Irish Wetlands to highlight the presence and the value of wetlands such as bog, fen, wet woodland, rivers and lagoons.

With some 10 per cent of the country classed as wetland, it performs a valuable function in flood prevention, carbon storage and biodiversity conservation.

While mapping more than 3,100 discrete wetland sites, Dr Foss and Dr Crushell say their map shows only a small fraction of the sites that exist. They say that of the wetlands they have mapped, only 30 per cent are formally listed for protection by the National Parks and Wildlife Service, with drainage, infilling and peat-cutting threatening this resource.

“It is crucial that a survey of wetlands be undertaken at a national level as it is impossible to protect the resource without first knowing its true extent,” they said.

The map can be found at wetlandsurveysireland.com