Ballycotton, Ballynamona and Shanagarry

Year of compilation: 2000

Site description
A composite coastal system, stretching northwards from Ballycotton towards Garrvroe in County Cork. The site consists of brackish and freshwater lagoons saltwater marshes, mudflats, sandflats, dunes and wet meadows. The main lagoon was an inlet of the sea until the 1930s when it was cut off by the development of a shingle-bank. The bank was breached only from time to time until 1991 when a new breach was created which has remained open, changing the lake back to a tidal inlet.

Key biodiversity
The site is of particular importance for Cygnus columbianus. However, due to loss of the main lagoon, numbers have declined drastically over the last ten years. This is also one of the most important sites in Ireland for wintering Arenaria interpres (275 birds, 1996) which, along with several other species, including Anas crecca (1,109 birds, 1996), Charadrius hiaticula (182 birds, 1996) and Pluvialis apricaria (3,755 birds, 1995), occur in numbers of national importance.

Pressure/threats to key biodiversity
Past drainage, land-claim and breaching of the shingle-bar have damaged this wetland site. Visitor pressure may cause disturbance to wintering birds, and the natural erosion of intertidal habitats is a threat. The site lies within a proposed candidate Special Area for Conservation (Ballycotton, Ballynamona and Shanagarry; area not known).

Protected areas
National Partial International PartialIBA overlaps with Wildfowl Sanctuary (Ballycotton, Ballynamona, and Shanagarry; area not known). 92 ha of IBA covered by Ramsar Site (Ballycotton, Ballynamona, and Shanagarry, 92 ha). 92 ha of IBA covered by Special Protection Area (Ballycotton, Ballynamona, and Shanagarry, 92 ha).

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2022) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Ballycotton, Ballynamona and Shanagarry. Downloaded from on 29/06/2022.