Click on the 'All Biodiversity Surveys' tab above

This is the Home Page for the Heritage Council's Biodiversity Watch Project. The project allows you to enter sightings of the plants and animals you see in your local environment - perhaps in a local park or woodland, or on a nearby seashore. Participation is easy. Go to the Submit your Sighting section (see the green button on the right). There you can zoom in on your own home area and mark where you have seen a particular plant or animal.

What is Biodiversity?

'Bio' means life. Biodiversity is the diversity or variety of life on Earth. In general, Ireland has a rich biodiversity for such a small island. For example, we have about 815 native seed plants (ones that produce seeds); about 1108 other seed plants (aliens) that have made Ireland their home; 584 different mosses, 78 types of fern; 3500 different fungi (mushrooms), 1250 lichens, over 12,000 species of insect (1400 of these moths, 33 types of dragonflies/damselflies and 34 types of butterfly), 28 species of land mammals, over 400 resident birds, one toad, one frog and one lizard. These figures are of species that live here all the year round. There are many animals that pass through Ireland (such as migrant birds), stopping to take a rest, or feed or reproduce.

It is important that we preserve this richness by 'minding' the landscape and not just the individual organisms. We must hold on to this biodiversity, but that we try to enrich it. The section below describes the main types of habitats in Ireland.

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Why is biodiversity important?

What are the principal threats to Ireland's Biodiversity?

What can we do to preserve Ireland's habitats?

What is unique about Ireland's Biodiversity?

What is unique about Ireland's habitats?

Exploring the Biodiversity of Ireland

Safety precautions when entering habitats

Habitat Respect

Habitat: Towns, Gardens & Parks

Habitat: Towns, Gardens & Parks

Towns, gardens and parks are artificial creations, yet they are not exempt from the laws of nature.

Habitat: Farms & Grasslands

Habitat: Farms & Grasslands

Grass is the dominant plant of our grasslands. Sprinkled throughout the grasslands are our wild flowers

Habitat: Freshwater

Habitat: Freshwater

Ireland's temperate climate ensures we have an all-year-round supply of rainwater. This rain is the source of our freshwater springs, streams,

Habitat: Woodland

Habitat: Woodland

Woodland habitats are composed of trees, shrubs, ferns, mosses and lichens and all the associated birds, bugs and animals.

Habitat: Uplands & Mountains

Habitat: Uplands & Mountains

Ireland is a low lying country made mature by millions of years of weathering and erosion. Just 5% of

Habitat: The Open Sea

Habitat: The Open Sea

Ireland is surrounded by a sea that is rich in marine life. This open sea habitat pushes against the land to include inlets and bays (Dublin Bay),

Habitat: Hedgerows

Habitat: Hedgerows

Ireland once had extensive hedgerows. Hedgerows can be considered to be linear woodlands.

Habitat: Burren & Turloughs

Habitat: Burren & Turloughs

What a shame it would be to live in Ireland and never visit the Burren! After the richness of Ireland's

Habitat: Coastland

Habitat: Coastland

All coastland is exposed to the salt sea air. This plays a large part in determining the plants and animals that live there.

Habitat: Peatland

Habitat: Peatland

Bogs make up Ireland's peatland habitat. Found mainly in the West and Centre of Ireland, they form because