Surveying for Wildlife in your Area

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Surveying for Wildlife in your Town, Investigating Local Protected Areas.

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<ul><li> 1. Tidy Towns SeminarSurveying for wildlife in your town</li></ul> <p> 2. 1. Investigate local protected areas Special Areas Of Conservation (SACs)- for special habitats and species, 9 inWaterford Special Protection Areas (SPAs)- for protection of birds, 6 in Waterford Proposed Natural Heritage Areas (pNHAs)- important areas forbiodiversity- 28 in Waterford Nature Reserves- areas of importance for wildlife, 1 in Waterford 3. 2. Do your own research Most of our native habitats, animals and plants live in unprotected areas,and are vulnerable to disturbance or destruction due to human activity- itis important to document what we have while we still have itA) Habitats Where different types of animals and plants live, e.g. hedgerows,broadleaf woods, conifer woods, grassland, reed beds, salt marsh, oldbuildings/stone walls, etc Draw a map of your town showing which habitats are present and wildlifeof each area 4. B) Species Carry out surveys and make species lists for plants, insects, mammals,birds and other wildlife- invite groups like BirdWatch Ireland, IrishWildlife Trust, MISE Project, Irish Whale and Dolphin Group to help you Could make a good project for schools, scouts or a group of interestedvolunteers Compile your data and submit it to National Biodiversity Data Centre- anyinformation gathered is very useful for future conservation efforts (seewww.biodiversityireland.ie) Try to monitor species you have found- this too is very useful information 5. 3. Raise awareness! It is important to let people know where our protected sites are and whythey are important Maybe run or attend guided walks or talks by people who areknowledgeable about different types of wildlife, and encourage others toattend them Compile and distribute information about protected areas and localhabitats to schools/libraries etc and possibly insert information boards orsignage where appropriate 6. 4. Habitat ManagementDesignated wildlife areas Try to identify key areas for wildlife in your town, designate them as suchand tell people about the value of these places In designated wildlife areas, remove rubbish, clear invasive species (e.g.Japanese Knotweed) and try to keep at least part of the site free of anyhuman disturbance Relatively little management should be needed, depending on the site- letnature take its course! Try to draw up a biodiversity action plan for your town 7. General wildlife management A little untidiness is a good thing! Small patches of weeds, wasteground or scrub can be excellent habitat for wildlife Wherever possible, use native plants- avoid exotic species, especiallyinvasives. Native plants provide better habitat for birds, insects, etc. Try also to retain wildlife corridors (e.g. hedgerows) to keep separatehabitats connected 8. Habitat creation &amp; improvement Consider creating areas of new habitat for wildlife- insert bird or batboxes, plant trees or a small woodland, create ponds or wetlands, or let anarea go wild Less is more- provide the basic template and try to let wildlife colonisean area naturally Seek advice on how to do this, especially if you are close to a protectedarea, e.g. from NPWS county conservation ranger 9. Useful websites www.biodiversityireland.ie National Biodiversity Data Centre www.npws.ie/protectedsites/ - National Parks and Wildlife www.birdwatchireland.ie www.batconservationireland.org www.miseproject.ie www.iwdg.ie Irish Whale and Dolphin Group floraofcountywaterford.biodiversityireland.ie www.butterflyconservation.ie www.invasivespeciesireland.com </p>

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