All-Ireland Pollinator Symposium: 17th February 2015

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An All-Ireland Pollinator Action Plan 2015-2020 is currently being developed. It is being led by the National Biodiversity Data Centre and the Pollination Ecology Research Group in TCD. The Action Plan provides an important framework to bring together pollinator initiatives across the island of Ireland, and is the start of a process by which we can collectively take positive steps to protect Irish pollinators and the service they provide into the future. The plan outlines actions necessary under a number of keys areas: data needs, research needs, policy needs, education and communication needs, and site based actions. A steering group, representative of key stakeholders, will oversee publication and implementation of the plan which will go out for a two month public consultation phase in January-February 2015. A one-day All-Ireland Pollinator Symposium will be held in Waterford on the 17th February 2015. This meeting will present the plan and provide opportunity for public engagement. There will also be a series of talks on how best to move forward on specific actions. It is hoped that all those with an interest in Irish pollinators and their conservation will attend.

To register for the event please visit our event page. The registration fee is €10.

Notification of Third Round of Public Consultation on Non-native Species Risk Assessments

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Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) and the National Biodiversity Data Centre (Data Centre) have been tasked by the National Parks and Wildlife Service to undertake risk assessments on certain non-native species listed in the Third Schedule to the European Communities (Birds and Natural Habitats) Regulations 2011 (SI 477/2011; http://www.irishstatutebook.ie/2011/en/si/0477.html). The risk assessments provide evidence-based knowledge that will be used by the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht in the implementation of Regulations 49, 50 and 74. These regulations are concerned with the prohibition on the introduction, dispersal, trading and keeping of certain non-native species and associated licensing requirements that may apply.

Each risk assessment completed (refer to list below) has undergone an internal review and an external expert review and is now available for stakeholder and public consultation on the project website www.nonnativespecies.ie. This Third Round of Public Consultation on Non-native Species Risk Assessments is to facilitate requests received from stakeholders to extend the consultation period. As we wish to provide for the maximum public input to this process, we invite any interested parties to make submissions on these completed risk assessments which are available for comment for a one month period, ending Friday 12th September 2014.

Additional information on the Non-native Species Risk Assessment Project can be found on the project website www.nonnativespecies.ie . Guidance information on the licensing requirements can be viewed at http://nonnativespecies.ie/notices-and-documentation/

The following risk assessments are now available for comment until the 12/09/2014:

Animals

  • Astacus astacus (Noble Crayfish)
  • Astacus leptodactylus (Turkish Crayfish)
  • Bufo bufo (Common Toad)
  • Capreolus capreolus (Roe Deer)
  • Corbicula fluminea (Asian River Clam)
  • Crepidula fornicata (Slipper Limpet)
  • Cyprinus carpio (Carp)
  • Hydropotes inermis (Chinese Water Deer)
  • Leuciscus cephalus  (Chub)
  • Lithobates catesbeianus (American Bullfrog)
  • Muntiacus reevesi (Muntjac Deer)
  • Orconectes limosus (Spiny-cheek Crayfish)
  • Pacifastacus leniusculus (Signal Crayfish)
  • Procambarus clarkii (Red Swamp Crayfish) 
  • Procambarus spp(Marbled Crayfish) 
  • Strix aluco (Tawny Owl)
  • Sus scrofa (Wild Boar)
  • Tamias sibiricus (Siberian Chipmunk)

Plants

  • Allium triquetrum (Three-cornered Leek)
  • Aponogeton distachyos (Cape Pondweed)
  • Azolla filiculoides (Water Fern)
  • Crassula helmsii (Australian Swamp Stonecrop)
  • Egeria densa (Large-flowered Waterweed)
  • Elodea canadensis (Canadian Pondweed)
  • Elodea nuttallii (Nuttall’s Pondweed)
  • Gunnera manicata (Brazilian Giant-rhubarb)
  • Gunnera tinctoria (Giant-Rhubarb)
  • Hyacinthoides hispanica (including H. non-scripta x H. hispanica) (Spanish Bluebell)
  • Hydrocotyle ranunculoides (Floating Pennywort)
  • Impatiens glandulifera (Himalayan Balsam)
  • Juncus planifolius (Broad-leaved Rush)
  • Lagarosiphon major (Curly-leaved Waterweed)
  • Ludwigia (L. grandiflora, L. peploides and L. hexapetala) (Water-primrose)
  • Lysichiton americanus (American Skunk-cabbage)
  • Myriophyllum aquaticum (Parrots Feather)
  • Nymphoides peltata (Fringed Water-lily)
  • Persicaria perfoliata (Mile-a-minute Weed)
  • Pistia stratiotes (Water Lettuce)
  • Rhododendron ponticum  (including R. x superponticum) (Rhododendron)
  • Rubus spectabilis (Salmonberry)

The following risk assessments will be available for comment shortly:

  • Carpobrotus edulis  (Hottentot-fig)
  • Hippophae rhamnoides (Sea-buckthorn)

Regards,

The Non-native Species Project Team.

Biodiversity Recording App Released

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Today, August 13th, 2014, Compass Informatics with the National Biodiversity Data Centre announces the release of a new app for biodiversity and species recording.  Available at no cost for Android and Apple phone.

A new biodiversity app for smartphones means that casual and professional nature watchers can contribute to the building of the national information resource on our environment.  Compass Informatics, a Dublin-based information and location technologies company, have designed a mobile app that is easy to use and allows the recording of a photo, a location, and details of species, with upload to the data management and mapping system of the National Biodiversity Data Centre for Ireland.  The National Biodiversity Data Centre is also the national node for the worldwide data collection that is the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (gbif.org) and so the humble records captured by the app users ultimately go global.

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The complexity involved in proper species recording is very well-hidden in the app, with ease of use a first objective, but behind the scenes a taxonomic dictionary of species names ensures the records collected are suited to use in the national and global information collection.  The app developers have also used an approach that means the app works across different phone types without special IT development.

The biodiversity app is another part of the information management infrastructure that is provided by the National Biodiversity Data Centre – which is itself an initiative of the Heritage Council and funded by the Council with the Department of Arts, Heritage, and the Gaeltacht.  The Centre is operated by Compass Informatics and its team of expert ecologists and IT and data specialists.  The Centre’s website at www.biodiversityireland.ie includes a mapping system for viewing of species distribution across both land and sea, and explanatory data on the distribution of the species records over months of the year – useful for species such as butterflies; and over the years – useful for understanding movements of species such as red and grey squirrels.

There is no better way to test a new tool such as the biodiversity app than its active use in the field, in hail, rain, or shine – and so the Centre’s director, Liam Lysaght, is making active use of the app in his Wild Ireland Tour (WildIrelandTour.ie) cycle around Ireland.  Over his 3,200km cycle he will capture species records using the app and hopes that records for each of his ten bucket list species will be in there too. See Liam’s list that goes from the massive Basking Shark to the smaller but equally intriguing Humming-Bird Hawk Moth.

For further information contact Gearóid Ó Riain, Managing Director (goriain@compass.ie, tel +353 1 2104580, mobile +353 87 2902343).

Technical note: The app has been developed by Compass Informatics developers with expert ecologists, and uses .Net coding in Xamarin (xamarin.com) for efficient cross device app development and support.  In other words we develop once for all phones rather than develop separately for each.

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Wild Ireland Tour – Celebrating Ireland’s Wildlife

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Wild Ireland Tour

Follow Dr. Liam Lysaght, director of the National Biodiversity Data Centre as he cycles around Ireland visiting some of Ireland’s special wildlife sites in the name of highlighting conservation. For all the latest updates, live maps and live species sightings go to www.wildirelandtour.ie.

Notification of Second Round of Public Consultation on Non-native Species Risk Assessments

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Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) and the National Biodiversity Data Centre (Data Centre) have been tasked by the National Parks and Wildlife Service to undertake risk assessments on certain non-native species listed in the Third Schedule to the European Communities (Birds and Natural Habitats) Regulations 2011 (SI 477/2011; http://www.irishstatutebook.ie/2011/en/si/0477.html). The risk assessments provide evidence-based knowledge that will be used by the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht in the implementation of Regulations 49, 50 and 74. These regulations are concerned with the prohibition on the introduction, dispersal, trading and keeping of certain non-native species and associated licensing requirements that may apply.

Each risk assessment completed (refer to list below) has undergone an internal review and an external expert review and is now available for stakeholder and public consultation on the project website www.nonnativespecies.ie. As such, we invite any interested parties to make submissions on these completed risk assessments which are available for comment for a two-week period after publication.

Additional information on the Non-native Species Risk Assessment Project can be found on the project website www.nonnativespecies.ie . Guidance information on the licensing requirements can be viewed at http://nonnativespecies.ie/notices-and-documentation/

The following risk assessments are now available for comment until the 06/08/2014:

  • Allium triquetrum (Three-cornered Leek)
  • Corbicula fluminea (Asian Clam)
  • Egeria densa (Large-flowered Waterweed)
  • Hydrocotyle ranunculoides (Floating Pennywort)
  • Impatiens glandulifera (Himalayan Balsam)
  • Ludwigia spp. (Water Primroses)
  • Lysichiton americanus (American Skunk-cabbage)
  • Myriophyllum aquaticum (Parrot’s Feather)

The following risk assessments will be available for comment shortly:

  • Carpobrotus edulis (Hottentot-fig)
  • Elodea canadensis (Canadian Pondweed)
  • Hippophae rhamnoides (Sea-buckthorn)
  • Juncus planifolius (Broad-leaved Rush)
  • Hyacinthoides hispanica (including H. non-scripta x H. hispanica) (Spanish Bluebell)
  • Persicaria perfoliata (Mile-a-minute Weed)
  • Rubus spectabilis (Salmonberry)

 

Regards,

 

The Non-native Species Project Team

 

Irish student wins prestigious GBIF’s Young Researchers Award 2014

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Caoimhe Marshall, a master’s student at UCD, is the recipient of this year’s Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF) Young Researchers Award. She is one of the two 2014 winners of the annual €4,000 award granted to graduate students whose project demonstrates research innovation and originality, the potential for significant contributions to biodiversity science, and the creative use of data published through GBIF. Caoimhe’s project will analyse the National Plant Database, held by the National Biodiversity Data Centre, to detect biases and identify gaps in spatial recording effort. This analysis will be instrumental in gaining a greater understanding of how recording effort influences observed species distribution patterns in large national datasets, and enable the Data Centre to develop a plant recording strategy to target identified gaps.  If the method proves successful, it will be adopted by the Data Centre as a model for identifying gaps other national databases.

The project is a collaboration between the National Biodiversity Data Centre and University College Dublin, and supervised by Dr. Jon Yearsley at the  School of Biology & Environmental Science.

Rare bumblebee rediscovered after 88 years

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Southern cuckoo bumblebee (Bombus vestalis). Photo: Nick Owens

A rare bumblebee species not sighted since 1926 has been recorded in a park in Rathfarnham, Dublin. Eddie Hill, a gardener at St. Enda’s Park and avid bumblebee recorder for the National Bumblebee Monitoring Scheme, spotted the unusual looking bees feeding on flowers last week within the grounds of the park.  Having sent photographs and sent two specimens to the National Biodiversity Data Centre, ecologists Dr. Tomás Murray and Dr. Úna Fitzpatrick confirmed that it was the rare Southern cuckoo bumblebee, a species not recorded in Ireland for 88 years.

Eddie Hill said: “I’ve been interested in bumblebees for the past two years after learning how to identify them at a National Bumblebee Monitoring Scheme workshop.  With my work, I’m in St. Enda’s most days, so when I saw these bees pollinating flowers in the park, I just knew they were different.”

Ecologist Dr. Tomás Murray, project co-ordinator of the Bumblebee Monitoring Scheme, said: “Overall, 30% of the 102 species of bee are endangered and, given how long it’s been since this bee was recorded, we thought we’d never see it again.  Our recorders in the monitoring scheme have been passing on photos of suspected sightings, so we did get a little excited when we received Eddie’s photos, but were delighted when we confirmed it was the Southern cuckoo bumblebee, Bombus vestalis.”

The Southern cuckoo bumblebee was last recorded near Bagenalstown, Co. Carlow, in 1926 by Arthur Wilson Stelfox, a renowned entomologist working in the National Museum in Dublin at the time.  That it hasn’t been recorded since begs the question: where has it been?  “Like other cuckoo bees, it’s unusual in the sense that it doesn’t make its own nest, but invades a host bee’s nest, kills the queen, then uses the host workforce to rear its young.  Being what is known as a ‘social parasite’, it will always have a much lower population size than its host, making it more vulnerable to extinction.”, added Murray. “So it could be that it almost died out, but is now expanding again, or that it has simply been rare, but overlooked as, up until the National Bumblebee Monitoring Scheme, there haven’t been enough skilled people looking for it.”

Run and maintained by the Office of Public Works, St. Enda’s Park consists of nearly 50 acres of parkland with a diversity of flora and fauna, as well as the Pádraig Pearse Museum, visitor centre and a nature study room.  Eddie Hill knows of at least six bumblebee nests currently within the grounds, illustrating how valuable these green spaces are within urban areas in Ireland.  “I’ve successfully roped many of my colleagues in work into photographing insects for me, so now that I have found such a lovely rare bumblebee, we’ve all been given a boost to go out and try to record a good few more species for the Data Centre!”

For further information contact: Dr. Tomás Murray, National Biodiversity Data Centre

Tel.: +353-51-306241

Email: tmurray@biodiversityireland.ie

Notification of Public Consultation on Non-native Species Risk Assessments and Public Information Meetings on Non-native Species Regulations

Latest News

Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) and the National Biodiversity Data Centre (Data Centre) have been tasked by the National Parks and Wildlife Service to undertake risk assessments on certain non-native species listed in the Third Schedule to the European Communities (Birds and Natural Habitats) Regulations 2011 (SI 477/2011; http://www.irishstatutebook.ie/2011/en/si/0477.html). The risk assessments provide evidence-based knowledge that will be used by the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht in the implementation of Regulations 49, 50 and 74. These regulations are concerned with the prohibition on the introduction, dispersal, trading and keeping of certain non-native species and associated licensing requirements that may apply.

To date, each risk assessment completed (refer to list below) has undergone an internal review and an external expert review and is now available for stakeholder and public consultation on the project website www.nonnativespecies.ie.  As such, we invite any interested parties to make submissions on these completed risk assessments which are available for comment for a two-week period after publication.

Further to this, three public meetings will take place to inform interested stakeholders and the general public about the regulations and associated licensing requirements as follows:

 

  • 20th May and 21st May 2014 (19:30 – 21:00): Dublin – Inland Fisheries Ireland  Head Office – 3044 Lake Drive, Citywest Business Campus, Dublin; and
  • 22nd May 2014 (19:30 – 21:00):  Athlone – Athlone Springs Hotel, Monksland, Athlone, Co. Westmeath.

Project staff will also be available to meet in person or receive calls from stakeholders between 11:00 and 17:00 on each of the above days by appointment only to receive consultation on matters pertaining to the risk assessments or licensing requirements.  Please call +353 87 0513116 during business hours to make such an appointment.

Additional information on the Non-native Species Risk Assessment Project can be found on the project website  www.nonnativespecies.ie .  Guidance information on the licensing requirements can be viewed at http://nonnativespecies.ie/notices-and-documentation/

The following risk assessments are available for comment until the 24th May 2014:

Aponogeton distachyos (Cape Pondweed)

Astacus astacus (Noble Crayfish)

Astacus leptodactylus (Turkish Crayfish)

Azolla filiculoides (Water Fern)

Bufo bufo (Common Toad)

Capreolus capreolus (Roe Deer)

Crassula helmsii (Australian Swamp Stonecrop)

Crepidula fornicata (Slipper Limpet)

Cyprinus carpio (Common Carp)

Elodea nuttallii (Nuttall’s Pondweed)

Gunnera manicata (Brazilian Giant-rhubarb)

Gunnera tinctoria (Giant-rhubarb)

Hydropotes inermis (Chinese Water Deer)

Lagarosiphon major (Curly-leaved Waterweed)

Leuciscus cephalus  (Chub)

Lithobates catesbeianu (American Bullfrog)

Muntiacus reevesi (Muntjac Deer)

Myriophyllum aquaticum (Parrots Feather)

Nymphoides peltata (Fringed Water-lily)

Orconectes limosus (Spiny-cheek Crayfish)

Pacifastacus leniusculus (Signal Crayfish)

Pistia stratiotes (Water Lettuce)

Procambarus clarkii (Red Swamp Crayfish) 

Procambarus spp. (Marbled Crayfish) 

Rhododendron ponticum (including R. x superponticum) (Rhododendron)

Strix aluco (Tawny Owl)

Sus scrofa (Wild Boar)

Tamias sibiricus (Siberian Chipmunk)

 

The following risk assessments are not yet available for comment:

 

Allium triquetrum (Three-cornered Leek)

Carpobrotus edulis (Hottentot-fig)

Corbicula fluminea (Asian River Clam)

Egeria densa (Large-flowered Waterweed)

Elodea canadensis (Canadian Pondweed)

Hippophae rhamnoides (Sea-buckthorn)

Hyacinthoides hispanica (including H. non-scripta x H. hispanica) (Spanish Bluebell)

Hydrocotyle ranunculoides (Floating Pennywort)

Impatiens glandulifera (Himalayan Balsam)

Juncus planifolius (Broad-leaved Rush)

Ludwigia (L. grandiflora, L. peploides and L. hexapetala) (Water-primrose)

Lysichiton americanus (American Skunk-cabbage)

Persicaria perfoliata (Mile-a-minute Weed)

Rubus spectabilis (Salmonberry)

 

Regards,

The Non-native Species Project Team

 

 

 

Non-Native Species Risk Assessment Project

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Notification of Public Consultation on Non-native Species Risk Assessments and Public Information Meetings on Non-native Species Regulations

Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) and the National Biodiversity Data Centre (Data Centre) have been tasked by the National Parks and Wildlife Service to undertake risk assessments on certain non-native species listed in the Third Schedule to the European Communities (Birds and Natural Habitats) Regulations 2011 (SI 477/2011; http://www.irishstatutebook.ie/2011/en/si/0477.html). The risk assessments provide evidence-based knowledge that will be used by the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht in the implementation of Regulations 49, 50 and 74. These regulations are concerned with the prohibition on the introduction, dispersal, trading and keeping of certain non-native species and associated licensing requirements that may apply.

 

To date, each risk assessment completed (refer to list below) has undergone an internal review and an external expert review and is now available for stakeholder and public consultation on the project website www.nonnativespecies.ie.  As such, we invite any interested parties to make submissions on these completed Risk Assessments which are available for comment for a two-week period after publication.

 

Further to this, three public meetings will take place to inform interested stakeholders and the general public about the Regulations and associated licensing requirements as follows:

  • 20th May and 21st May 2014 (19:30 – 21:00): Dublin – Inland Fisheries Ireland  Head Office – 3044 Lake Drive, Citywest Business Campus, Dublin; and
  • 22nd May 2014 (19:30 – 21:00):  Athlone – Athlone Springs Hotel, Monksland, Athlone, Co. Westmeath.

Project staff will also be available to meet in person or receive calls from stakeholders between 11:00 and 17:00 on each of the above days by appointment only to receive consultation on matters pertaining to the risk assessments or licencing requirements.  Please call +353 87 0513116 during business hours to make such an appointment.

 

Additional information on the Non-native Species Risk Assessment Project can be found on the project website  www.nonnativespecies.ie . Guidance information on the licencing requirements can be viewed at http://nonnativespecies.ie/notices-and-documentation/

 

The following risk assessments are available for comment until the 24th May 2014:

Aponogeton distachyos (Cape Pondweed)

Astacus astacus (Noble Crayfish)

Astacus leptodactylus (Turkish Crayfish)

Azolla filiculoides (Water Fern)

Bufo bufo (Common Toad)

Capreolus capreolus (Roe Deer)

Crassula helmsii (Australian Swamp Stonecrop)

Crepidula fornicata (Slipper Limpet)

Cyprinus carpio (Carp)

Elodea nuttallii (Nuttall’s Pondweed)

Gunnera manicata (Brazilian Giant-rhubarb)

Gunnera tinctoria (Giant-rhubarb)

Hydropotes inermis (Chinese Water Deer)

Lagarosiphon major (Curly-leaved Waterweed)

Leuciscus cephalus  (Chub)

Lithobates catesbeianu (American Bullfrog)

Muntiacus reevesi (Muntjac Deer)

Myriophyllum aquaticum (Parrots Feather)

Nymphoides peltata (Fringed Water-lily)

Orconectes limosus (Spiny-cheek Crayfish)

Pacifastacus leniusculus (Signal Crayfish)

Pistia stratiotes (Water Lettuce)

Procambarus clarkii (Red Swamp Crayfish) 

Procambarus spp. (Marbled Crayfish) 

Rhododendron ponticum (including R. x superponticum) (Rhododendron)

Strix aluco (Tawny Owl)

Sus scrofa (Wild Boar)

Tamias sibiricus (Siberian Chipmunk)

 

The following risk assessments are not yet available for comment:

Allium triquetrum (Three-cornered Leek)

Carpobrotus edulis  (Hottentot-fig)

Corbicula fluminea (Asian River Clam)

Egeria densa (Large-flowered Waterweed)

Elodea canadensis (Canadian Pondweed)

Hippophae rhamnoides (Sea-buckthorn)

Hyacinthoides hispanica (including H. non-scripta x H. hispanica) (Spanish Bluebell)

Hydrocotyle ranunculoides (Floating Pennywort)

Impatiens glandulifera (Himalayan Balsam)

Juncus planifolius (Broad-leaved Rush)

Ludwigia (L. grandiflora, L. peploides and L. hexapetala) (Water-primrose)

Lysichiton americanus (American Skunk-cabbage)

Persicaria perfoliata (Mile-a-minute Weed)

Rubus spectabilis (Salmonberry)

Ireland’s BioBlitz 2014: 23 & 24 May

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Ireland’s BioBlitz 2014

The National Biodiversity Data Centre is delighted to announce the four sites that will be competing in this year’s Ireland’s BioBlitz which will take place on 23 & 24 May. The sites are all extremely interesting heritage sites that provide a variety of habitats and interesting biodiversity. This should make for very competitive recording this year.

The four sites are Howth Head, Co. Dublin,  Glenarm Estate, Co. Antrim, Cong/Clonbur Woodlands on the Galway/Mayo border and Derrynane Historic Property, Co. Kerry. The Data Centre is very grateful to Fingal County Council, National Museums of Northern Ireland, Coillte and the Office of Public Works who are our partners in this years event.  Please see the BioBlitz website  http://bioblitz.biodiversityireland.ie/ for further details.

 

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