9.2.1 Protected Habitats and Species designated for Nature Conservation

opendate_range22 Dec, 2020, 9:00am - 12 Mar, 2021, 5:00pm
9.2.1 Protected Habitats and Species designated for Nature Conservation
9.2.1.1 European Sites (Natura 2000) 

The EU Habitats Directive (92/43/EEC) and EU Birds Directive (2009/147/EC) provide for the conservation and protection of breeding and resting sites for rare and threatened species, and rare habitat types in a European context considered to be most in need of conservation.  Such sites form part of an EU network of ecologically important and protected sites known as Natura 2000 sites and comprise:

  • Special Areas of Conservation (SACs) – these sites are selected for the conservation and protection of plant and animal species (other than birds) and habitats listed in Annex I and Annex II of the EU Habitats Directive (92/43/EEC) respectively.
  • Special Protection Areas (SPAs) – these sites are selected for the conservation and protection of birds and their habitats designated under the EU Birds Directive 2009 (2009/147/EC) (first adopted in 1979) and transposed into Irish law by the Conservation of Wild Birds Regulations (SI 291 of 1985).

There are 8 Natura 2000 sites within the County (see Table 9.1 and Figure 9.1).  The National Parks and Wildlife Service, Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht identify, evaluate and propose sites for designation.  The boundaries of protected areas may change and/or new sites may be proposed for designation during the lifetime of this Plan.  Up-to-date information on boundaries and details of designated sites is available on the National Parks and Wildlife Service website (www.npws.ie).

As set out in Chapter 1, the Council will ensure that an Appropriate Assessment, in accordance with Articles 6(3) and Article 6(4) is carried out in respect of any plan or project not directly connected with or necessary to the management of the site, but likely to have a significant effect on a Natura 2000 site(s), either individually or in combination with other plans or projects, in view of the site’s conservation objectives.

9.2.1.2 Natural Heritage Area

Natural Heritage Areas (NHAs) and proposed Natural Heritage Areas (pNHAs) are designated under the Wildlife (Amendment) Act 2000 and encompass nationally important semi-natural and natural habitats, landforms and geomorphological features. There are 34 Natural Heritage Areas in the county. See Table 9.1 and Figure 9.1.

9.2.1.3 Statutory Nature Reserve

A Nature Reserve is an area of importance to wildlife which is protected under Ministerial order.  Most are owned by the State. There are 4 Statutory Nature Reserves in the county. See Table 9.1 and Figure 9.1.

​​​​​​​9.2.1.4 Wildfowl Sanctuary

Wildfowl Sanctuaries are areas that have been excluded from the ‘Open Season Order’ so that game birds can rest and feed undisturbed.  Shooting of game birds is not allowed in these sanctuaries. There are 2 wildfowl sanctuaries in the county. See Table 9.1 and Figure 9.1.  

9.2.1.5 Protected Plant and Animal Species

Certain plant, animal and bird species are protected by law.  These includes plant species listed in the Flora Protection Order, 1999 (or other such Orders) and animals and birds listed in the Wildlife Act, 1976 and subsequent statutory instruments, those listed in Annex IV of the Habitats Directive (92/43/EEC), and those listed in Annex I of the Birds Directive.

The Planning Authority will consult with the National Parks and Wildlife Service (a) in respect of any proposed development where there is a possibility that such development may have an impact on a protected area of international or national importance, and (b) take account of any licensing requirements, when undertaking, or approving development which is likely to affect plant, animal or bird species protected by national or European legislation. 

The Council will protect and, where possible, enhance the natural heritage sites designated under EU Legislation and National Legislation (Habitats Directive, Birds Directive, European Communities (Birds and Natural Habitats) Regulations 2011 and Wildlife Acts). This protection will extend to any additions or alterations to sites that may arise during the lifetime of this plan.   The Council will also protect and, where possible, enhance the plant and animal species and their habitats that have been identified under European legislation (Habitats and Birds Directive) and protected under national Legislation (European Communities (Birds and Natural Habitats) Regulations 2011 (SI 477 of 2011), Wildlife Acts 1976‐2010 and the Flora Protection Order (SI94 of 1999).   

Development Management Requirements:

  • Ensure that an ecological impact assessment is carried out, by suitably qualified professional(s), for any proposed development likely to have a significant impact on rare and threatened species including those species protected by law and their habitats.  Ensure appropriate avoidance and mitigation measures are incorporated into development proposals as part of any ecological impact assessment.   

 

 
Table 9.1 Protected Habitats of International and National Importance

Site Name

Site

Code/Ref

cSAC

SPA

pNHA

SNR

WF

Cullahill Mountain

000831

ü

 

 

 

 

Hugginstown Fen

000404

ü

 

    ü

   

 

Galmoy Fen

001858

ü

 

    ü

 

 

Lower River Suir

002137

ü

 

 

 

 

River Barrow & River Nore/

Abbeyleix Wood Complex

002162/000698

002076

ü

 

    ü

    ü

 

    ü

River Nore

004233

 

ü

 

 

 

Spa Hill & Clomantagh Hill

000849

ü

 

 

 

 

The Loughans

000407

ü

 

 

 

 

Thomastown Quarry

002252

ü

 

 

 

 

Archersgrove

002051

 

 

    ü

 

 

Ardaloo Fen

000821

 

 

    ü

 

 

Ballykeeffe Woodland

000400

 

 

    ü

ü

 

Barrow River Estuary

000698

 

 

    ü

 

 

Brownstown Wood

000827

 

 

    ü

 

 

Clohastia

000830

 

 

    ü

 

 

Coan Bogs* 

002382

 

 

    ü

 

 

Dunmore Cave

000401

 

 

    ü

 

 

Dunmore Complex

001859

 

 

    ü

 

 

Esker Pits

000832

 

 

    ü

 

 

Fiddown Island

000402

 

 

    ü

ü

 

Garryrickin Nature Reserve

000403

 

 

    ü

ü

 

Grannyferry      

000833

 

 

    ü

 

 

Ice House near Inistioge

002094

 

 

    ü

   

 

Inchbeg

000836

 

 

    ü

 

 

Inistioge

000837

 

 

    ü

 

 

Kilkeasy Bog

000839

 

 

    ü

 

 

Kyleadohir Wood Nature Reserve

000405

 

 

    ü

ü

 

Kylecorragh Wood

000842

 

 

    ü

 

 

Lough Cullin

000406

 

 

    ü

 

    ü

Lough Macask

001914

 

 

    ü

 

 

Mothel Church, Coolcullen

000408

 

 

    ü

 

 

Mount Juliet

000843

 

 

    ü

 

 

Murphy's of the River

000844

 

 

    ü

 

 

Newpark Marsh

000845

 

 

    ü

 

 

Rathsnagadan Wood

000409

 

 

    ü

 

 

Red Bog, Dungarvan

000846

 

 

    ü

 

 

Thomastown

000410

 

 

    ü

 

 

Tibberaghny Marshes

000411

 

 

    ü

 

 

Whitehall Quarries

000855

 

 

    ü

 

 

See www.npws.ie for further information.

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