|Site with the most recorded species|
|Lough Key Forest Park||959|
|Burren National Park||947|
|Wicklow Mountains National Park||
|Site with the most species by area
|Lough Key Forest Park||2.74|
|Burren National Park||0.63|
|Wicklow Mountains National Park||0.05|
|Site with the most species per recorder
|Lough Key Forest Park||17.13|
|Wicklow Mountains National Park||12.61|
|Burren National Park||11.99|
|Most species by taxonomic group|
|Birds||Burren National Park (78)|
|Mammals||Wicklow National Park (20)|
|Butterflies & Moths||Burren National Park (63)|
|Other insects||Burren National Park (153)|
|Vascular Plants||Colebrooke Estate (376)|
|Bryophytes||Wicklow National Park (163)|
|Lichens||Wicklow National Park (165)|
|Fungi||Colebrooke Estate (85)|
|Lophiostoma viridarium||Found by Kiaran Connolly at Lough Key Forest Park (if confirmed will be new species to Ireland!)|
What a fantastic effort by all involved to make Ireland’s BioBlitz 2013 such an outstanding success. And hearty congratulations to Colebrooke Estate and the team of recorders at the site who achieved a really impressive tally of 1,086 species over the 24hr period.
As the dust settles on Ireland’s BioBlitz 2013 it is worth reflecting on what has been achieved. 263 of Ireland’s leading naturalists, scientists and wildlife enthusiasts gave of their time and expertise freely to work together as a team to promote biological recording; without this voluntary contribution and generosity of spirit BioBlitz could not have happened.
The event showcased four magnificent properties in Ireland, one from each province and each with its own unique character. The winning site, Colebrooke Estate, Co. Fermanagh is a private estate owned by Viscount & Viscountess Brookeborough who opened up this wonderful private estate to enable its rich natural heritage to be surveyed for the first time. And what a richness was found! A highlight was the list of 376 species of vascular plants, the highest number of all four sites. Two species, a liverwort Riccia fluitans and lichen Lecanora conferta are new records for the county. The success could not have been achieved without the co-ordinating role played by the Centre for Environmental Data and Recording (CEDaR), Northern Ireland.
Lough Key Forest Park is an estate owned by Coillte, Ireland’s forestry company, managed primarily as an outdoor recreational and amenity area. The tag of underdog only spurred them on to record a hugely impressive tally of 959 species, beating both the Burren and Wicklow Mountains National Parks. The final tally included a surprisingly high number of vascular plants (342 species) and almost 200 insect species.
The Burren National Park is renowned for its karstic landscape and rich semi-natural grassland habitats. And while these habitats are immensely rich in terms of floral and insect diversity, the site surprised everyone by recording 78 bird species, the most for any of the four sites. Included in this was wood sandpiper– a real rarity in this area.
Wicklow Mountains National Park is a very extensive tract of upland in the east of the country. It is dominated by blanket bog, upland acidic lakes and woodland. The site recorded some of Ireland’s rarest breeding birds, including redstart, goosander and whinchat. It also recorded an amazing tally of 163 species of bryophyte, including Bartramia halleriana, the only known Irish site for the species.
The lesson learned is that sites with semi-natural habitats, no matter where they are located, hold a fabulously rich diversity of life, but this diversity and the services it provides remain largely hidden without the expertise of scientists to unlock it. We must do everything we can to protect this diversity, but also to build capacity in expertise needed to identify and document this diversity.
Ireland’s BioBlitz is a partnership event. Although organised and co-ordinated by the National Biodiversity Data Centre it could not be run without the wholehearted support of different individuals and organisations. I have already acknowledged the huge contribution made by the recorders. Particular thanks are due to the site hosts, National Parks and Wildlife Service, Coillte and Viscount & Viscountess Brookeborough who opened their magnificent properties and provided the support to enable Base Camps to be established. I sincerely hope that the hosts consider it to have been a worthwhile experience and one which has helped to promote the uniqueness of each site. The staff of the Education Centre at Wicklow Mountains National Park and of Lough Key Visitor Centre also need a special thanks for taking this project on board, in addition to their own core work.
The profile of this year’s event benefited greatly from having two programmes broadcast on RTE. We are indebted to the production company Crossing the Line Flims for producing some wonderful footage of the event and for RTE raising the profile of biological recording by broadcasting the event. The programme can be viewed on RTE Player until 16 July 2013 http://www.rte.ie/player/ie/show/10151810/ .
Those of you with sharp eyes will have noticed that in the heat of battle a small number of species were entered in error on the on-line records submission form, but these errors were so few as to not affect the overall results. The National Biodiversity Data Centre will begin working on checking of all the data collected during the Ireland’s BioBlitz 2013 event, validating those records and producing a final species list for each of the four sites. These lists will be available for download when completed.
Ireland’s BioBlitz 2013 began with a tribute to the memory of Éamon de Buitléar who died on 27th January this year. Éamon was an outstanding figure who unlocked the treasures of our natural heritage to a whole generation of Irish people. He also played no small part in influencing the decision of many of us to choose the path of natural science as a profession, or of nature conservation as a passion. He will be sorely missed.
Dr. Liam Lysaght (Centre Director)
Some superb images showing just a snap shot of the fun at the Wicklow National park BioBlitz 2013. A good time was had by all.
The results are in. Wow!!! what a 24 hours it has been. Colebrooke managed to build on their impressive lunch time performance and held on to win BioBlitz 2013. Lough Key made an impressive late showing which allowed them to pip the Burren at the post for second place. Wicklow made mighty efforts for what was surely a hard one fourth place.
Colebrooke Estate BioBlitz 2013 Champions
Congratulations to Colebrook estate who are the BioBlitz 2013 champions and indeed to all who took part.
|Wicklow National Park||20000||72||1619||908|
|Lough Key Forest Park||350||56||2001||959|
|Wicklow National Park||20000||0.0036||0.0801||0.0454|
|Lough Key Forest Park||350||0.1600||5.7171||2.7400|
Colebrooke have remained strong throughout the afternoon and look to be pulling away. Can the Burren catch them. Wicklow and Lough Key are still very close and have been nipping at each others heels all day, who will win the day. The next two hours will tell all…
Five year old Ewan Dale finds a new species record Geophillus for Wicklow Mountains National Park!
Happy campers and fun times look to be the order of the day at Wicklow National Park.
Wow! what a busy two hours. Colebrooke have put on a burst of speed and edged ahead of the Burren with Lough Key and Wicklow locked in a head to head battle for third place at the moment. Will Colebrooke continue to pull away at this speed or will they plateau in the afternoon…? Keep up to date with the results in real-time.