The Gearagh and the Iniscarra reservoir

Year of compilation: 2000

Site description (baseline)
The Gearagh valley is located 3 km south of Macroom, County Cork, and forms part of the channel of the Lee river. In the 1950s the valley was dammed, trees felled and 60% of it flooded for a hydroelectric scheme. Some of the original alluvial woodland remains. The site also encompasses the upper part of the Iniscarra reservoir as far as the Carrigadrohid Dam.

Key biodiversity
The site was designated as a Special Protection Area on the basis of its migratory waterfowl, notably those species wintering in numbers of national importance: Anas penelope (2,000 birds, 1996), Anas crecca (1,600 birds, 1996), Anas platyrhynchos (1,750 birds, 1985), Fulica atra (312 birds, 1995) and Pluvialis apricaria (1,500 birds, 1985).

Pressure/threats to key biodiversity
Wildfowling causes disturbance to birds and is a problem at this site. The site overlaps with a proposed candidate Special Area for Conservation (The Gearagh; area not known).

Protected areas
National High International High300 ha of IBA covered by Nature Reserve (The Gearagh, 300 ha). IBA overelaps with Wildfowl Sanctuary (Lee Reservoir; area not known). 307 ha of IBA covered by Ramsar Site (The Gearagh, 307 ha). 323 ha of IBA covered by Special Protection Area (The Gearagh, 323 ha). 300 ha of IBA covered by Biogenetic Reserve (The Gearagh, 300 ha).

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2023) Important Bird Area factsheet: The Gearagh and the Iniscarra reservoir. Downloaded from on 03/06/2023.