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Discover Ramsar Wetlands in the Republic of Ireland


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The story map brings you on an informative tour of 45 designated Ramsar sites in the Republic of Ireland. The Ramsar Convention entered into force in Ireland on 15 March 1985. Since then Ireland has designated 45 sites as Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar Sites), with a surface area of 66,994 hectares. This intergovernmental treaty embodies the commitments of its member countries to maintain the ecological character of their Wetlands of International Importance and to plan for the “wise use”, or sustainable use, of all of the wetlands in their territories.

This information tour of the designated Ramsar sites around Ireland includes map location information, a brief summary of species and habitats of interest that resulted in the Ramsar designation, and information on whether sites are open to visitors.

The Ramsar Wetlands in the Republic of Ireland story map was created by Dr Peter Foss and Dr Patrick Crushell from information on these wetlands included in the Map of Irish Wetlands, which shows the location of more than 12,600 wetland sites in Ireland. The map and the latest story map have been developed and made available to the public free of charge without the assistance of any public funding.

According to Dr.  Foss “The Irish Ramsar sites represent some of the finest wetland in the country and a spectrum of the different wetland types that occur in Ireland. They are indispensable for the countless benefits or “ecosystem services” that they provide humanity, ranging from freshwater supply, food and building materials, biodiversity, flood control, groundwater recharge, and climate change mitigation.”

So if you would like to learn more about Ireland’s Ramsar wetlands, all you have to do to access the story map is go to the link shown below:

http://arcg.is/2tPjHAB

Footnote:

Information for the story map comes from information held in the Map of Irish Wetlands. The Map of Irish Wetlands has been created by Dr Peter Foss and Dr Patrick Crushell and shows the location of more than 12,600 wetland sites in Ireland. The map has been developed and made available to the public free of charge.

If you would like to visit some other wetland you can check out the story map Wetlands to Visit Around Ireland. The story map brings you on an informative tour of 40 wetlands around Ireland where you can learn more about these fascinating habitats.

Links to ‘Wetlands to Visit Around Ireland' story map:

http://arcg.is/2kWtYY8

For further Information or story maps about wildlife heritage sites, check out the websites below:

WetlandSurveysIreland.com; Tel: 064 6642524; E: info@wetlandSurveysIreland.com

Links to Map of Irish Wetlands:  WetlandSurveysIreland.com or FossEnvironmentalConsulting.com   

Join us for the Reenagross Woodland Park Tour Heritage Day Event

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  • 19 August, 11am - 1pm
  • Dr. Patrick Crushell
  • Reenagross Woodland Park, Kenmare
  • Co. Kerry

 

A new online interactive map of Reenagross Woodland Park has been produced by Wetland Surveys Ireland to enhance visitor experience at the park. We will demonstrate use of the map which includes a range of visitor information on the natural heritage at Reenagross and conservation work that is being undertaken to manage the park.


The new online interactive map of Reenagross Woodland Park has been produced for Kenmare Tidy Towns with support from the Heritage Council.

The story map provides information on habitats, flora, fauna, and management and aims to enhance visitor experience. We will demonstrate the use of the map during the walk and also see how many plant and animal species we can identify on the way.

Please bring your smart phone or tablet along so you can follow the tour.


Admission & Booking


  • Admission Free
  • Suitable for Children under 12
  • Wheelchair Access (Partial)
  • Car Parking Available
  • Further Information

 

Mobile: 086 8510292

Email: patrick@WetlandSurveysIreland.com

Link to the story map:

http://arcg.is/2mOk9ZL

Take the Reenagross Woodland Park Tour

Would you like to visit and learn more about Reenagross Woodland Park, Kenmare? The new story map produced by Wetland Surveys Ireland and Foss Environmental Consulting brings you on an informative tour of the park where you can learn more about the fascinating estuarine and woodland habitats and wildlife that you can see there.

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The park is a wooded peninsula set within the beautiful landscape of Kenmare Bay, Co. Kerry. The Reenagross Woodland Park has over 3km of walking trails, along with a diverse range of habitats that are home to a wide variety of plants and animals and places of interest. The park is actively managed by Kenmare Tidy Towns as a place where people can enjoy nature, take a walk, and learn about the rich wildlife of the area. Kenmare Tidy Towns have undertaken numerous projects to enhance the value of the woodland for wildlife and to manage the park for visitors. You will learn more about these topics during this tour.

The park has a variety of visitor facilities including paths, seating, information signs, that will help you enjoy a visit to this magical place, and learn more about the park, as well as the habitats, wildlife and management work being undertaken by Kenmare Tidy Towns to enhance the biodiversity of this oak woodland.

The story map includes a map of the walking trails at Reenagross, location information on habitats of interest, a brief summary of what you can discover at the site, a summary of habitat and species protection work that has been undertaken, and a link to further information, opening times and much more.

According to Dr.  Crushell “Kenmare Tidy Towns manage this wonderful place, and have invested significant resources and voluntary effort in making the site open to the public and allowing anyone to learn more about this fascinating place and its wildlife and biodiversity”.

Kenmare Tidy Towns wish to thanks The Heritage Council for funding to develop this story map.

So if you would like to learn more about Reenagross Woodland Park, all you have to do to access the story map is go to the link shown below:

http://arcg.is/2mOk9ZL

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Footnote:

Information for the Reenagross Woodland story map comes from information held in the Map of Irish Wetlands. The Map of Irish Wetlands has been created by Dr Peter Foss and Dr Patrick Crushell and shows the location of more than 12,600 wetland sites in Ireland. The map has been developed and made available to the public free of charge.

If you would like to visit some other wetland you can check out the story map Wetlands to Visit Around Ireland. The story map brings you on an informative tour of 40 wetlands around Ireland where you can learn more about these fascinating habitats.

Link to 'Wetlands to Visit Around Ireland' story map:

http://arcg.is/2kWtYY8

For further Information or story maps about wildlife heritage sites, check out the websites below:

WetlandSurveysIreland.com; Tel: 064 6642524; E: info@wetlandSurveysIreland.com

Links to Map of Irish Wetlands:  WetlandSurveysIreland.com or FossEnvironmentalConsulting.com    

Mires and Peatlands of Europe - Status, distribution and conservation

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The International Mire Conservation Group (IMCG) has just published a new book - which provides for the first time - a comprehensive and up-to-date overview of the mires and peatlands in biogeographic Europe. 

Written by 134 authors, including the Republic of Ireland contribution by Peter Foss and Catherine O’Connell of the IPCC, the book describes mire and peatland types, extent, distribution, use, conservation and restoration individually for each country and integrated for the entire continent. Complemented by a multitude of maps and photographs, the book offers and impressive and colourful journey full of inspiring historical context and fascinating details. 

Details:

Mires and peatlands of Europe. Status, distribution and conservation. Edited by Hans Joosten, Franziska Tanneberger & Asbjørn Moen. With contributions of 134 authors. 781 pages, 205 figures, 218 tables, 112 colour photos, 21x28cm, c. 2.5 kg, bound, English. Price: €94.00. 

Order your copies directly from the publisher: mail@schweizerbart.de or order on-line from their website

Publishers Synopsis:

This book provides the first comprehensive and up-to-date overview of mires and peatlands in biogeographic Europe. Authored by 134 mire specialists, the extensive volume describes mire and peatland types, terms, extent, distribution, use, conservation, and restoration, individually for each European country and in an integrated manner for the entire continent. 

The descriptions are complemented by a multitude of maps and photographs, the book offers an impressive and colourful journey, full of surprising historical context and fascinating details, while appreciating the core principles and unifying concepts of mire science.

The European continent features an impressive variety of mires and peatlands. Polygon, palsa, and aapa mires, concentric and eccentric bogs, spring and percolation fens, coastal marshes, blanket bogs, saline fens, acid, alkaline, nutrient poor, nutrient rich: the peatlands of Europe represent unique ecosystem biodiversity and harbour a large treasure of flora and fauna typical of peat forming environments.

Europe is also the continent with the longest history, the highest intensity, and the largest variety of peatland use, and as a consequence it has the highest proportion of degraded peatlands worldwide. Peatland science and technology developed in parallel to exploitation and it is therefore not surprising that almost all modern peatland terms and concepts originated and matured in Europe. 

Their massive degradation also kindled the desire to protect these beautiful landscapes, full of peculiar wildlife. In recent decades attention has widened to include additional vital ecosystem services that natural and restored peatlands provide. Already the first scientific book on peatlands (Schoockius 1658) contained a chapter on restoration. Yet, only now there is a rising awareness of the necessity to conserve and restore mires and peatlands in order to avoid adverse environmental and economic effects.

National Award for Glenasmole Valley story map


ESRI2017CompLogoThe recently produced Bohernabreena Reservoir and Glenasmole Valley - A wildlife and wilderness amenity close to Dublin City for you to explore - story map created by Peter Foss in conjunction with Wetland Surveys Ireland has received the runner up award from ESRI Ireland in its the national 2017 Maps Make Sense Competition. The prize is a free trip to the GIS Esri UK Conference in London, on May 16th

This Story Map is littered with striking images and useful local information about the area presented through the medium of a Cascade Story Map. Peter has a long association and fascination in this location and its wildlife which he has visited for over 30 years. The reservoir lakes occurs on the outskirts of Dublin at the foot of the Wicklow Mountains. 


“A picture tells a thousand words and this entry makes very effective use of beautiful photographs to entice the user into exploring a little-known area. The photographs lead the user to the interactive map and allow them to put spatial context on the photographic material as well, of course, as being a practical tool to help when they visit the area.” Eamonn Doyle, Esri Ireland.

The tour provides information on places of interest within the valley, its wildlife and the wetland and terrestrial habitats that occur there. The map aim of the project is to allow visitors to appreciate and learn about the unique value of the wildlife and habitats of this designated EU Special Area of Conservation and make use of its visitor and amenity facilities. The map is based on information held in the Map of Irish Wetlands.

Footnote:

The Bohernabreena Reservoir and Glenasmole Valley story map can be viewed on your smartphone, tablet or pc.

Bohernabreena Reservoir and Glenasmole Valley story map link: http://arcg.is/2oxurSK

Further information on the Maps Make Sense 2017 competition can be found in the ESRI website at - http://bit.ly/2pfztUW

New staff member at WSI

Wetland Surveys Ireland is delighted to welcome a new member of staff to our team, Dr. Mary Catherine Gallagher. 

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Mary Catherine graduated with an honours degree (BSc) in Zoology from UCC in 2011. Following that, she worked in the education centre in Fota Wildlife Park, where she was responsible for giving talks and tours to the public and school groups as well as assisting with field ecology courses for second level students. 

Mary Catherine undertook a masters degree (MSc) in marine biology in UCC. This involved a 6-month research project which was focused on the ecology of an invasive algae species. This research developed her interest in the area of invasive species ecology, which led to Mary Catherine carrying out her doctorate (PhD) on an invasive barnacle species from 2013-2016. Mary Catherine has also worked as a marine biology tutor for primary school children and as a marine ecology walks leader on blue flag beaches.

Since joining Wetland Surveys Ireland Mary Catherine has been gaining a range of experience in habitat surveys and mapping, Geographical Information Systems (GIS) and report compilation.

Want to visit an Irish wetland?

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With spring ever more in the air the Map of Irish Wetlands team have created an exciting new on-line story map ‘Wetlands to visit around Ireland' to help you find some great wetland sites to visit around the country.

The story map brings you on an informative tour of 40 wetlands around Ireland where you can learn more about these fascinating habitats. The story map includes map location information, a brief summary of what you can discover at the sites, a summary of facilities at each location, and a link to further information from the groups that manage the reserves, opening times and much more.

The selection of wetlands shown in the story map include coastal wetlands, fens and swamps, ponds and bogs that all have a variety of visitor facilities (parking, paths, boardwalks, exhibitions and information signs) that will help you enjoy a visit to these magical places, and learn more about wetlands and their value to wildlife. The story map is based on a small selection of sites included in the Map of Irish Wetlands.

The Map of Irish Wetlands has been created by Dr Peter Foss and Dr Patrick Crushell and shows the location of more than 12,600 wetland sites in Ireland. The map and the latest story map have been developed and made available to the public free of charge without the assistance of any public funding.

Included on the new story map are such places as Bull Island, Clara Bog, Pollardstown Fen, Lodge Bog, The Wexford Wildlfowl Reserve, Fennor Bog, Corlea Visitor Centre, Boora Parklands to mention just a few. According to Dr.  Foss “These wetlands represent the different types that occur in Ireland and all have fantastic facilities to cater for visitors. The groups that manage these wonderful places have invested in making the sites open to the public and allow people to learn more about these fascinating places”.

So if you would like to make a visit to one of the wetlands, all you have to do to access the story map is go to the link shown below or scan the QR code which will launch the story map on your mobile device. 

“We hope people will enjoy the story map tour and get out there to visit one of these great national treasures !” says Dr. Foss.

QR code and Links to 'wetlands to visit around Ireland' story map:

http://arcg.is/2kWtYY8

QR Wetland Story map code

How to achieve sub-metre location accuracy on IOS or Android Devices

Following recent projects that required high accuracy (sub-metre) recording of spatial data we have invested in a device that provides sub-metre location data to your phone or tablet.

At WSI we have been using apple iPhones and iPads in the field for recording ecological data over the past five years. We have found these devices to be excellent as a means of recording field data. The user friendly interface, ease with which text can be inputted, stability of the software, and the security and easy transfer of data are the key advantages we have found with using these devices. The internal GPS of these devices are good and typically provide location data to an accuracy of 5m. This level of accuracy is perfectly adequate for the majority of ecological surveys we have undertaken (particularly when combined with high resolution aerial imagery). However, there are instances where it can be beneficial to acquire a higher level of accuracy, for example rare plant surveys or quadrat monitoring surveys.

There are now a range of options available that enable you to acquire high accuracy (consistently within 1 metre) location data on your phone or tablet. Although the cost of the devices remains high, it is more affordable than purchasing a standalone device with such capability that runs on its own operating system. In our experience these devices are a lot less user friendly than your IOS or Android device.

Following considerable product research and reading online reviews (see links below) we settled on the EOS Arrow 100. This is a small and portable GPS receivers that connect to your phone or tablet via Bluetooth. The device automatically override the internal GPS of the phone and provides real time sub-metre location data.  The apparent advantages of this product over others included a removable battery, competitive price, reportedly higher degree of accuracy (even under tree canopy), stable software, and excellent bluetooth connectivity.

We tested the new device during a week surveying remote blanket bog areas in the west of Ireland and are impressed with how it performed. The device itself is rugged and waterproof.  It straps to your belt and has an external antenna that can be attached to your backpack or within a pouch of a specially designed funky baseball cap (see above)!  While using ESRI Collector on an iPhone we were consistently getting accuracy of between 0.2m and 0.7m. It was rare that the reported accuracy exceeded 1m.  The Bluetooth connection is excellent and the device battery still had plenty of charge at the end of the day. Overall we are very happy with the operation of the device, though the cost was significant.

There are a range of products available that provide similar capability and we found the following reviews particularly informative:

http://www.fulcrumapp.com/blog/bluetooth-gps-comparison/

http://anatumfieldsolutions.com/20160314submeter-gnss-field-tested-compared/

https://blogs.esri.com/esri/arcgis/2016/06/03/le-ax-water-district-using-collectors-high-accuracy-beta-now/    

Discover Wetlands on World Wetlands Day 2017

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2 February 2017

The first Map of Irish Wetlands has recently been completed following three years of research and data compilation on a voluntary basis by wetland scientists Dr Peter Foss and Dr Patrick Crushell.

The on-line Map of Irish Wetlands shows the location of more than 12,600 wetland sites in Ireland. The map has been created and made available to the public free of charge without the assistance of any public funding. Upwards of two hundred individuals refer to the map each month including researchers, students, land use professionals, and the general public. 

The map is displayed via the Google Maps interface and can be accessed from any on-line device, without the need for special software. The Map of Irish Wetlands shows the location and provides summary information on protected and well known wildlife sites such as Clara Bog, Pollardstown Fen, or Dublin Bay. The map also provides information on lesser known wetlands that are important to local wildlife including cutover bogs, wet woodlands, farm ponds, and even golf course ponds. According to Dr.  Crushell “These small wetlands all form part of a national network of sites that support a great variety of specialist plants and animals adapted to living in wetland environments”.

This network, which forms a key part of Ireland’s natural history resource, has been identified for the first time by the Map of Irish Wetlands project. The value of wetlands in providing services to society is increasingly being recognised by concepts such as 'green capital' and 'green infrastructure'. However, the team behind the Map of Irish Wetlands believe that planning authorities and other state agencies charged with the protection of our 'green capital' should be doing more to identify and evaluate the resource. “To date only counties Kildare and Louth have undertaken the necessary surveys to characterise and evaluate the complete wetland resource they have, something urgently needed across many other counties in Ireland” says Dr. Crushell.

In the meantime the information presented on the map will continue to be refined by the map team. It is hoped, subject to finding a suitable sponsor or partner, that the functionality of the map will be enhanced during 2017 to allow users to easily search features of the wetland map and overlay it on other available datasets such as soil maps or land cover maps.

“Information on new or existing sites is always welcome, so if you would like to contribute to this wetland mapping project get in touch” says Dr. Crushell.

To celebrate World Wetlands Day on 2 February, Wetland Surveys Ireland are hosting a ‘Name the Wetlands' competition. To take part go to the WSI Facebook page for further details.

For further Information:

WetlandSurveysIreland.com; Tel: 064 6642524; Email: info@wetlandSurveysIreland.com     

Link to Map of Irish Wetlands

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Aerial photographic survey undertaken by WSI of Derrynane, Kerry using drone

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 © Website design Peter Foss 2012