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In Galway, we are fortunate to have such a rich natural heritage, much of it relatively unspoilt. Galway’s biodiversity includes habitats and species of plants and animals that are rare or absent elsewhere in Ireland and Europe. Intact blanket bog, raised bogs, sea cliffs, sand dunes, turloughs, river callows, limestone pavement, maerl beaches and species rich grasslands are just some of the habitats of national and international importance to be found in County Galway. Galway County Council has been proactive in the process of integrating biodiversity and natural heritage into aspects of local plans, programmes and strategies.
Habitats and Species info (from poster and booklet)
There are six National Parks in Ireland, one of which is Connemara National Park (c.3000 hectares)
Further information is available at: www.npws.ie/en/Nationalparks/ConnemaraNatpark/
Nature Reserves are areas of importance to wildlife. They are protected under ministerial guidelines. They can be owned by the State, Private Landowners and Organisations . Examples in County Galway [SP1] include:
Ballynastaig Wood: (9.758 ha.)
Coole-Garryland: (363.583 ha.). These two reserves near Gort, Co. Galway, See www.coolepark.ie
Clochar na gCon/Bealacooan Bog: (1,247ha) Co.Galway. Situated in South Connemara, approximately two miles north of Inverin,
Derryclare: situated on the N.W. shore of Derryclare Lough, Ballinahinch, Co. Galway, total area is 19 ha
Rosturra Wood: 3 km east-north-east of Woodford, Co.Galway, (17.68 ha.).
Derrycrag Wood, Co. Galway: 1 km south-east of Woodford (110.477ha.).
Leam West Bog: (373.48 h.a.) Grid Ref: M0342. The Reserve is situated two miles south east of Maam Cross, Co. Galway.
Pollnaknockaun Wood: comprising 38.85 ha. 1 km north-east of Woodford village, Co. Galway
Richmond Esker: 4 km north-west of Moylough, Co.Galway (15.7 ha.)
KnockmaaNatural Heritage Areas (pNHAs) Protected Under: Wildlife (Amendment) Act 2000
Sites may have been selected by virtue of having special scientific significance for one or more species, communities, habitats, landforms, or geological or geomorphologic features, or for a diversity of natural attributes. Depending on their quality and importance, NHAs may carry other designations including SAC, SPA, Statutory Nature Reserve or National Park.
Map of NHA’s in County Galway: Map of NHA's in County Galway
Candidate Special Areas of Conservation (cSACs)
Protected under: Habitats Directive of 1992 (EU Directive 92/43/EEC)Natural Habitats Regulations 1997 (S.I.94/97)
These are sites that have been identified to be of conservation importance in a European context, based on the habitats and species, both plant and animal that they support. All SACs are also proposed Natural Heritage Areas. Examples of candidate Special Areas of Conservation in County Galway:
Map of cSAC’s in County Galway: Map of SAC's in County Galway
Special Protection Areas (SPAs)
Protected under: Birds Directive of 1979 (EU Directive 79/409/EEC)Natural Habitats Regulations 1997 (S.I.94/97)
These are sites of European importance that have been identified as being of conservation importance on account of the bird species and populations they support. The Directive directs all member states to take measures to protect all wild birds and to preserve a sufficient diversity of habitats for all species naturally occurring within their territories, so as to maintain populations. All SPAs are also proposed Natural Special protection Areas.
Map of SPA’s in County Galway: Map of SPA's in County Galway