Ireland is an island nation sitting in the North Atlantic giving a large coastline and a number of seabird interests. There is very little data on the distribution of pelagic seabirds around the Irish Seas, with the exception of reports produced by the UK-JNCC and mapping of foraging terns around the largest colonies. BirdLife
o Review data to hand, from JNCC reports, 2009-2010 research cruises and offshore windfarm EIAs, then establish a national database of seabirds at sea information
o Apply Global and Regional IBA Criteria to the above to identify target areas for boundary definition
o The FAME project (2010-2012) has provided foraging area and range data from GPS-tag deployment on 4 key species (Shag, Kittiwake, Guillemot and Razorbill), each representing a particular foraging guild
o FAME has also delivered coordinated seawatches for the Critically Endangered Balearic Shearwaters during late summer and autumn and this could identify other non-breeding or bottleneck marine IBAs for this and other migratory seabird species
o A new census of all Ireland
Government's support/relevant policy
93% of all the IBAs already declared based on breeding seabird species are also designated as SPAs. To date there has been no government led initiative to monitor numbers and productivity seabirds on a systematic, annual basis nor identify and designate seabird MPAs under the EU Birds Directive. However, the government has supported projects such as the Seabird 2000 project with funding and in 2009-10 collaborated with BWI to gather seabird data on cruises at the western margins of the Irish Atlantic EEZ. Please see policy tab for list of agreements that this country is party to.
Petrels and shearwaters
Gulls and terns
Ducks, geese and swans
IUCN Red List Status
The numbers in brackets refer to the country's rank when compared to other countries and territories globally.
o Chivers, L.S., Lundy, M.G., Colhoun, K., Newton, S.F., Houghton, J.D.R. & Reid, N. 2012. Foraging trip time-activity budgets and reproductive success in the black-legged kittiwake. Marine Ecology Progress Series 456: 269-277.
o Chivers, L.S., Lundy, M.G., Colhoun, K., Newton, S.F., Houghton, J.D.R. & Reid, N. (2012). Species distribution models that predict important areas to seabirds demonstrate the need for mobile Marine Protected Areas. Manuscript for submission.
o Crowe, O., Tierney, N. & Wheeldon, R. 2009. Distribution, Extent and Status of Ireland
BirdLife International (2023) Country profile: Ireland. Available from http://datazone.birdlife.org/country/ireland. Downloaded: 2023-05-30