European Seabird Resource Hub - Ireland
Seatrack' has been developed to set up a network of coastal seawatching stations for monitoring seabird populations
Marine Protected Area identification
BirdWatch Ireland is in the process of compiling a directory of Marine Important Bird Areas on the basis of seabird distribution. Many will be foraging area extensions to the existing breeding colonies (IBAs) identified by GPS-tracking work carried out by the FAME Project; others will be migratory corridors documented by the ‘Seatrack’ survey (also part of the FAME). We are also mapping the pelagic distributions of seabirds throughout the year opportunistically during fisheries and cetacean research using the Irish state’s research vessels (Celtic Explorer and Celtic Voyager).
The offshore renewable industry in Ireland is lagging behind its European neighbours. Only one wind farm operates off the east coast, with seven turbines, while two others have been consented but so far not constructed. BirdWatch Ireland has been engaging with the industry through the development of bird sensitivity maps to help guide and inform planning decisions, especially for those areas that are likely to qualify as Marine IBAs.
On the west coast, several areas are now proposed and being assessed as potential sites for other renewable technologies. We are involved in surveys of the seabirds at some of these sites.
Stichting BirdLife Europe gratefully acknowledges financial support from the European Commission. All content and opinions expressed on these pages are solely those of Stichting BirdLife Europe.