Invasive species are killing our woodlands and next might be our bogs!

Rhododendron ponticum

Yes it’s beautiful. Yes it’s a tourist attraction in places. Yes it was brought in by humans. Yes it severely impacts on many of our woodland and bog areas & yes it is too late to eradicate or even contain it from most places in Ireland. Rhododendron ponticum slowly kills our woodlands.

Rhododendron was brought into Ireland as an ornamental plant but as most plants do, it produced seed and spread.

Some areas have become tourist attractions in May/June when Rhododendron ponticum is in flower. This area in the Vee on the Waterford/Tipperary border is one such place but also where people had to be rescued from after being unable to find their way out of the dense ticket.

Rhododendron is widespread and common throughout much of Ireland but it’s greatest densities are found in woodlands, forests and as it spreads onto bogs.

 

Muntjac deer

Muntjac deer (Muntiacus reevesi) are from Asia but have been seen in Ireland. There is NO WAY they naturally spread to here from Asia or neighbouring countries. They were intentionally brought in. If they establish they could add additional pressure to our woodlands. to Help Stop Spread. When a sighting is verified a species alert is issued and a rapid response will be triggered to try to find and remove the animal from the wild.

Report suspected sightings with a  photo if possible: https://records.biodiversityireland.ie/record/invasives#7/53.455/-8.016 

Image (c) GB NNSS – Distinctive facial stripe and protruding canine teeth of Muntjac deer.

Muntajc are confirmed as breeding in Northern Ireland but they are not known to be breeding yet in Ireland.

 

Pitcher plant

This Pitcher plant (Sarracenia purpurea) is a carnivorous plant that has been found in important bog habitats where it threatens native plants. When you look at the distribution map it is in a surprising number of sites in Ireland. If you see it