Nature protection and biodiversity - State and impacts (Ireland)

SOER 2010 Common environmental theme (Deprecated)
This is an old version, kept for reference only.

Go to latest version
This page was archived on 21 Mar 2015 with reason: A new version has been published
This contribution describes the state and impacts relating to nature protection and biodiversity, including impacts on the natural environment and human health/well-being, both at an Irish level as well as in transboundary terms.
Nature and biodiversity Nature and biodiversity
more info
Environmental Protection Agency
Organisation name
Environmental Protection Agency
Reporting country
Organisation website
Organisation website
Contact link
Contact link
Last updated
23 Nov 2010
Content license
CC By 2.5
Content provider
Environmental Protection Agency
Published: 26 Nov 2010 Modified: 11 May 2020 Feed synced: 23 Nov 2010 original

State and Impacts


The majority of Ireland’s most important habitats are reported to be of poor or bad conservation status, including raised and blanket bogs, dune systems, oligotrophic lakes, fens and mires, natural grasslands and woodlands.


Many protected species have a moderately satisfactory status but certain species, particularly of wetland and freshwater environments, are also reported to be of bad conservation status, such as the Atlantic salmon and freshwater pearl mussel.  Species such as bats, cetaceans and seals appear to be doing well and there has been good progress in providing natterjack toad Epidalea calamita habitat in its core range.


A recent Birdwatch Ireland assessment of the population status of Ireland’s birds indicates that of the 199 species assessed, 25 were placed on the red list (i.e. of most conservation concern), 85 species were on the amber list (generally of unfavourable conservation status) and 89 on the green list (of least concern). Several red-listed bird species are believed to be on the brink of extinction in Ireland.

However, there is also evidence that many of the more common breeding birds in Ireland have fared quite well over the last ten years and the populations of roseate tern Sterna dougallii and buzzard Buteo buteo have increased significantly. In addition, there is evidence that the great spotted woodpecker Dendrocopus major established itself in Ireland in 2009 as a breeding species.

Threatened Species 

Recent red lists indicate that some 30 per cent of Irish bee species, 17 per cent of Irish water beetle species and 30 per cent of non-marine molluscs are threatened. Ireland’s mammals are judged to be generally in good status with just one species, the black rat Rattus rattus, judged to be vulnerable. In relation to Ireland’s marine environment, most commercially targeted fish stocks in Irish waters are overexploited and in decline.


Older versions


Filed under:

The country assessments are the sole responsibility of the EEA member and cooperating countries supported by the EEA through guidance, translation and editing.

Filed under: SOER2010, biodiversity
Document Actions