Landscape composition is a key driver of biodiversity at a local level, especially in rural areas .
Our Nature Blog – anything about nature that needs commenting on
The word “Dragonfly” is a wide term used for insects in the order Odonata, which encompasses both the Damselflies and Dragonflies. True Dragonflies have their own distinct suborder Anisoptera (meaning “unequal wings”).
Ellen Hutchins: Ireland’s First Botanist
Born on 17th March 1785 in Ballylickey, a small village located in a sheltered bay off the west coast of Ireland near Bantry, Ellen was a force who exerted herself with zeal and enthusiasm in identifying plant specimens in the area.
The European Holly Tree – a plant with a long Christmas tradition
The European holly tree (Ilex aquifolium L.) is a small to medium-sized evergreen plant, averaging approximately 10m in height  . The primary distinctive features of holly include its red berries and dark green glossy leaves containing spines.
Bats: Ecology, Conservation and Myths
Bats are the only mammals with true, powered flight. Unlike the gliding flight of flying squirrels and lemurs, bats use their wings for active flight. Like other mammals, bats are warm blooded (endothermic), covered in fur and feed their newborn offspring with milk.
Bats in Ireland
Bats are one of the most diverse groups of mammals on the planet. There are over 1,400 species currently known and they are found all over the world, with the exception of the Arctic, Antarctic and a few Oceanic islands.
Ireland’s Native Trees
The last survey of native Irish woodlands was carried out over a decade ago. It found about 1,300 native woodland areas, half of which were smaller than six hectares, and only about 40 were larger than 50 hectares, demonstrating the massive level of habitat fragmentation in Ireland today. Still, for a country where only about 2% of our woodland is native we have lots of native tree species; 36 trees and shrubs in total. The top ten native Irish trees in order of abundance in our native woodlands are presented in this article.
The Beauty of Lough Hyne
Lough Hyne, a truly spectacular saltwater lake, spans a distance of one kilometre in West Cork, not far from Skibbereen. Home to a vast array of both flora and fauna, including 72 different species of fish (1)—some of which are very rare—it is no surprise that the lough became Ireland’s first marine nature reserve in 1981 (2).
The Passage of the Hedgehog
Heritage week is a great way to get together and learn more about the natural heritage on our doorsteps. We were lucky to have Zoologist of NUI Galway, Elaine O’Riordan, come to Fota Education Centre to discuss her research on hedgehogs.
The Iberian Lynx
The Iberian Lynx is one of the most elusive wild cats in the world. Unfortunately, it is also the most endangered. However, ongoing conservation work has resulted in the species being downgraded from a ‘Critically endangered’ status to ‘Endangered’ in 2015 (2).