Bord na Móna has been busy welcoming back winter visitors to its peatlands across the Midlands region - Sean Doyle, a member of the Ecology Team finding evidence of the Common Crane at a new site in the River Shannon floodplain.
“The implementation of Peatland Climate Action Scheme (PCAS ), bog rehabilitation measures has created significant areas of new wetland habitat that is continuing to attract wetland birds but is also beginning to support a wide diversity of species,” Mark McCorry, Lead Ecologist with Bord na Móna, said.
McCorry points to the colonies of water-dependent species such as dragonflies and damselflies establishing in the newly created wetlands. These colonising invertebrates will form the basis of the food web that will support a wide diversity of other species including wildfowl, waders and fish.
“What we are seeing is the creation of a new self-sustaining ecosystem”, Mr McCorry added.
McCorry says the team are hopeful that the evidence of the Common Crane at a new site means there may be more than one nesting pair next year.
“It was fantastic when the Common Crane nested in Ireland for the first time in 300 years earlier this year. Equally as exciting was our first recorded sightings late in the summer of Ireland’s only protected insect, the Marsh Fritillary butterfly in both the Boora Discovery Park and Finnamores wetlands,” Mr McCorry commented.
Bord na Móna is undertaking the largest peatland rehabilitation and restoration project in Europe and the company’s Ecology, Engineering and Environmental teams are currently carrying out rehabilitation on 17 bogs this year.