Bord na Móna - Source Issue 10 - (Page 13)

RESOURCEFUL wIldlIfe wondeRlAnd loUgh BooRA CElEBRATEs A RECoRD NUMBER oF BiRDs, PlANTs AND MAMMAls iN A NATioNAl EvENT, WiTh ThE PARKlANDs CERTiFiED As BURsTiNg WiTh BioDivERsiTy t’s official! lough Boora Parklands is home to just under 1,000 different species. The parklands, still in peat production just 20 years ago, recorded 940 species in May, including 23 different mammal species in the parklands including red squirrel, red deer, badger, fox, four species of bat, shrew, hare, rabbit and pine marten; 90 species of bird including buzzard, lapwing, grey partridge, snipe, barn-owl, kingfisher and long-eared owl; and more plant species than any other competitor parkland in ireland. The species were counted as part of a national BioBlitz event, a scientific race against time to find as many species as possible within a park over a 24-hour period. The four Michael O’Donnell checking the moth trap during the Bioblitz with John McNiff, Bord na Móna i participants to try out for the title of ireland’s most bio-diverse habitat were Crawfordsburn Country Park, Co. Down; glengarriff National Nature Reserve, Co. Cork; lough Boora Parklands, Co. offaly; and Phoenix Park, Dublin 8. glengarriff topped the poll with 1,020 species. “This shows how important the cutaway bogs are nationally,” said Dr Catherine Farrell, ecologist with Bord na Móna. “The wildlife just pours in once peat production stops. This event was a completely independent appraisal of lough Boora carried out by experts in their field – they were amazed by the diversity of plants, mammals, and birds in lough Boora.” indeed, the results of BioBlitz 2012 showed the Bord na Móna parklands had the highest number of plants, mammals and birds recorded over the 24 hour period in the competition. held over 24 hours from 5pm on Friday, May 18, the recording continued through the night and next day until 5pm. Alongside the main BioBlitz exercise, there were also two days of special events and activities for members of the public to enjoy. A schools art competition was amongst the key events of the weekend. in all, 11 schools took part in the competition, and over 600 examples of their artistic visions of the wildlife of lough Boora were on colourful display at the base camp. over 70 people enjoyed a bat walk at night, whilst others got up early to hear the dawn chorus at 4am. A parklands walk in the afternoon allowed members of the public the rare chance to watch the experts identifying the different species and see the park’s birds and animals up close. “A lot of preparation went into the event and we worked closely with the National Parks and Wildlife service, Coillte, the irish Wildlife Trust, offaly County Council and BirdWatch ireland,” said Catherine. “on the day, we had a core team of Bord na Móna staff and local recorders from the different agencies – it was all voluntary.” Key Bord na Móna staff involved in preparations for the event included Mark McCorry, David Fallon, Tom Egan, Don o’Boyle, sean Craven, Kevin healy, sinead Culleton, lisa healy, helen D’Arcy and John McNiff. “There was a great atmosphere on the day and we’re absolutely delighted with the numbers of species recorded,” said Catherine. “We’ll just continue adding to the list of species as we know there are more there!” InfoRMATIon For more information on Lough Boora, log on to S A wood mouse at Lough Boora Parklands Source | 13

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Bord na Móna - Source Issue 10

Bord na Móna - Source Issue 10
A round-up of news from around the company
Community Values
Looking Ahead with Confidence
From Waste to Compost
Saving Energy
Building Commitment
At the Coal Face
Annual Report Results
A Dog's Life
Updates on important developments and projects
Heritage Corner
A nationwide spotlight on special occasions, events and achievements across the company

Bord na Móna - Source Issue 10