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Wednesday, 31st May 2023

Project to conserve Baltray’s Little Terns gets funding of €36,500

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Little terns nest on the ground on shingle beaches which makes them very vulnerable to poor weather and to predators. Only a few colonies are found in Ireland with Baltray being one of the major colonies in this country. Photo courtesy of Birdwatch Ireland/Niall T. Keogh.

The Baltray Little Tern Conservancy project is to receive €36,550 from a €2.7m national fund for local biodiversity projects announced today.

Altogether some €118,885 will be spent on eight projects in Louth by the fund which was announced by Malcolm Noonan TD, Minister of State for Heritage and Electoral Reform.

Operated by the National Parks and Wildlife Service, the scheme was first launched in 2018. Since then, a total of just over €6m has been granted to local authorities. This year’s grants will build on that investment. 

 “The Local Biodiversity Action Fund is an enormously impactful scheme that supports local authorities and communities to deliver on Ireland’s national objectives for nature, from invasive species to habitat restoration to awareness-raising to surveys and monitoring work” Minister Noonan said.

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“As more and more Biodiversity Officers join the ranks of our local authorities, I know that the benefits for nature and people that this Fund provides are only going to grow.”

Projects approved this year include:

  • €36,550 to the Baltray Little Tern Conservancy
  • €17,000 for hedgerow laying
  • €17,000 for Swifts conservation
  • €12,750 for Biodiversity Enhancement Plans
  • €12,750 for conservation measures in Clogherhead SAC
  • €12,750 for the Dune Protection Plan
  • €6,481 for the Barn Owl Survey and Conservation
  • €3,604 for Biodiversity Awareness panels at Ginnety’s Pond
Little tern chicks are very well camouflaged. Photo: Stephen Newtown of Birdwatch Ireland.

Small Recording Grants

A grant scheme providing support to Ireland’s natural history recording community is now in operation for a fifth year, with growing popularity and record numbers of applicants. The Small Recording Grant scheme, managed by the NPWS, aims to help established naturalists recording in Ireland to maintain and enhance their expertise in species identification, and to develop the next generation of natural history recorders.

The Small Recording Grants scheme supports volunteers, groups, societies and associations of recorders who have limited or no access to financial supports for their work. 67 applicants have been notified of their funding allocations, at a combined total of €193k. The projects supported include:

  • Dissection Masterclass for Determination of Species of Moths
  • Dragonflies and Damselflies in County Tipperary
  • Sponge Recording Project
  • A Targeted Bioblitz Survey of Freshwater-Associated Taxa in the Burren
  • Wexford Barn Owl Project

The data generated by these recording exercises is utilised by the NPWS to inform its understanding of the distribution and ecology of many species and to assess their status. In turn, it informs advice on nature conservation objectives and practical measures to protect species and habitats.

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