Wetland Survey County Monaghan 2011

Foss, P.J., Crushell, P. & Wilson, F. (2011). Wetland Survey County Monaghan. Report prepared by Wetland Surveys Ireland for Monaghan County Council & The Heritage Council.а

Report cover

The project involved a field survey of seventy five freshwater wetlands in County Monaghan, with the aim of identifying the specific wetlands and ecological interest of each site. These sites had previously been identified as being of potential interest during the County Monaghan Wetland Map project prepared in 2010. The sites selected for survey were suspected to contain notable wetland habitats including turlough, raised bog, petrifying spring and fen habitats. This report presents the results of the 2011 field survey and includes detailed site descriptions and habitat maps for the wetlands surveyed.а

1.ааа The aim of the Wetland Survey County Monaghan (MWS) was to undertake a field survey of a selection of wetland sites identified during the County Monaghan Wetlands Map (MWM) project (Crushell & Foss 2010) for which little or no habitat or ecological information was available.а

2.ааа A total of 107 sites were initially selected for potential survey. As suggested in the MWM report (Crushell & Foss 2010), sites selected for survey included those believed to contain the EU Habitats Directive habitats: turloughs, raised bog, springs and fens. A number of additional sites were selected by the Monaghan Heritage Officer. Following this site selection process other sites in the vicinity of those already selected were examined on aerial photography and the most likely to contain interesting wetlands were included on the potential survey list.а The initial 107 site list and the justification for their inclusion in the survey are listed in Appendix 1.аа

3.ааа During the course of the field survey a number of additional sites were added to the survey list, in particular potential turloughs around the Lough Fea / Shirley Estate, at the request of the Monaghan Heritage Officer.а

4.ааа Field surveys were undertaken on a total of seventy five sites. Sixty eight of these were surveyed in detail and site descriptions, conservation evaluation and habitat maps were prepared (see Appendix 2). The remaining seven sites were surveyed in less detail (often visually assessed from a distance). Reports on these sites include a brief site description, indicative habitats and recommendations made on whether a future detailed survey was required (see Appendix 3).а

5.ааа For sites surveyed in detail habitats were classified and mapped according to the Guide to Habitats published by The Heritage Council (Fossitt 2000). Habitats that occur surrounding each wetland site were also recorded.

6.ааа The information collected from the survey was used to update the 2010 Monaghan Wetlands Map (MWM) GIS dataset and MWM site database, where site records were updated or created for each of the sites surveyed in 2011.а

7.ааа Detailed survey information on site was stored within a County Monaghan Wetland Survey (MWS) database created for this project (and which is liked via the site code to the MWM database).а

8.ааа The main findings to emerge from the 2011 survey of wetlands are that a number of important wetland sites were identified during the survey (deemed to be of high local importance of greater). This included ten turloughs, one raised bog and ten transition mires. These habitats are listed under the EU Habitats Directive as habitats of conservation concern. Both turlough and raised bog habitats are listed as priority habitats for conservation.

9.ааа The identification of ten new turlough sites within the county is of interest as this priority habitat type has not traditionally been associated with this region of Ireland. Prior to the 2011 survey, only one turlough site was previously surveyed in County Monaghan.

10.ааа One site, Drumgoan Lough was found to contain a significant population of Pyrola rotundifolia (Round Leaved Winter Green) a Flora Protection Order species.а This is only the second known location for this species in County Monaghan.

11.ааа The results of the 2011 survey indicates that many important wetlands sites remain un-identified throughout the county and further surveys will be required to complete the inventory of wetland sites. This report lists a significant number of sites that require future survey.а

For further information on the project please contact Shirley Clerkin, Heritage Officer, Monaghan County Council, Monaghan.а

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