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Winners of the World Wetlands Day photo competition announced!

The River Lee

The River Lee, Ballincollig.  ‘Lovely sense of place and time of year’.  Overall winner (under 18) of the World Wetlands Day Photo Competition. Photo taken by Lucy Gallagher.

Whooper Swans

Whooper Swans rising from Kilcolman Fen. ’Very well captured. Evocative. I can hear them calling’. The overall winner (over 18) of the World Wetlands Day photo competition.  Photo taken by James McGrath.

Award-winning wildlife camera man Colin Stafford-Johnson kindly agreed to select the overall winners of the World Wetlands Day Photo Competition.  The WWD photo competition was organised by the IRWC and Wetlands Surveys Ireland to mark 50 years since the signing of the Ramsar Convention. The competition which ran over four months in 2021 had a great response and monthly winners were posted on the IRWC website.  The winners will each receive a framed copy of their photo and an OPW Family Heritage Card.

The overall winner of the under 18 category was Lucy Gallagher from Cork.  Colin Stafford -Johnson commented that this photo gave a ‘Lovely sense of place and time of year’

The overall winner of the over 18 category was James McGrath, also from Cork . Colin Stafford -Johnson commented that the Whooper Swans were, ’Very well captured. Evocative. I can hear them calling’.

Fine praise indeed for two photos which represent Ireland’s wonderful, varied, and vital wetlands.

Thanks to Colin Stafford-Johnson for judging the overall competition winners, to members of the IRWC (Niamh Fitzgerald of BirdWatch Ireland, Tadgh O’Mahony of the EPA, Mary Roache of Teagasc) and to Patrick Crushell of Wetland Surveys Ireland for judging the monthly competition winners.  Thanks to the National Biodiversity Data Centre for their monthly prizes of Identification Swatch Packs and to the OPW for the overall winner prize of a Family Heritage Card.

2022-11-25T15:49:06+00:00March 2nd, 2022|

World Wetlands Day 2021

Raising global awareness about the vital role of wetlands for people and our planet.

The day also marks the date of the adoption of the Convention on Wetlands on 2 February 1971, in the Iranian city of Ramsar on the shores of the Caspian Sea.

This year’s theme shines a spotlight on wetlands as a source of freshwater and encourages actions to restore them and stop their loss.

We are facing a growing freshwater crisis that threatens people and our planet. We use more freshwater than nature can replenish, and we are destroying the ecosystem that water and all life depend on most – Wetlands.

The 2021 campaign highlights the contribution of wetlands to the quantity and quality of freshwater on our planet. Water and wetlands are connected in an inseparable co-existence that is vital to life, our wellbeing and the health of our planet.

Share your personal note on “why you value wetlands”.  See

See also

Follow us on Twitter @RamsarIreland

2022-11-25T15:49:59+00:00January 8th, 2021|

Ireland’s Rivers

Ireland's Rivers Publication CoverRivers are said to be the veins, and streams the capillaries, that carry freshwater, the scarce lifeblood of the Earth. However, freshwaters are experiencing species extinctions at a rate faster than any other ecosystem, and human activities are threatening our survival through overexploiting and degrading water quality. Rivers have been channelled, buried underground, dammed, diverted and polluted; some so over-abstracted that their waters no longer reach the sea. With abundant rainfall, Irish rivers are less damaged than many of those in other countries, but most have water quality problems that can impact the quality of our lives and economic activities, as shortages of safe water supplies have demonstrated.This timely book aims to raise awareness of Ireland’s fantastic and often undervalued river resource, andthe importance of changing our behaviour and policies to ensure that we keep it in a healthy condition forits sustainable benefits, as well as protection of its biodiversity. The book captures the expertise of 39 Irishfreshwater experts to provide an up-to-date account on the evolution of Ireland’s rivers and their flowcharacteristics, biodiversity and how humans have depended on, used and abused our rivers through time.Irish rivers include types that are rare elsewhere in Europe and support a wide range of aquatic organisms and processes. In Ireland’s Rivers there are chapters on their hydrology and on their animal and plant life, on crayfish, fish and pearl mussels, and on aquatic birds and mammals, describing their importance and the threats to their survival such as pollution and loss of habitat. There are case studies of characteristic but contrasting Irish rivers, the Avonmore, Burrishoole, Araglin and the mighty Shannon, and information on invasive aquatic species. Water quality and river management are underlying themes. Ireland’s Rivers concludes with some suggestions for ways that individuals, households, communities and policy makers can help protect the health and beauty of our rivers and their wildlife.

Contributor(s): Mary Kelly-Quinn (editor), Julian D Reynolds (editor)
Format: Hardback,
Publication date: 1st July 2020
ISBN-13: 9781910820551
Author Biography: Mary Kelly-Quinn is a freshwater ecologist and Associate Professor in the School of Biology and Environmental Science, University College Dublin. Julian D. Reynolds is a freshwater ecologist, and former Head of the Department of Zoology in Trinity College Dublin.

Buy this Book

2022-11-25T15:52:03+00:00November 13th, 2020|

Community Wetlands Handbook now available

Community Wetlands Handbook Cover

This handbook was produced by the Community Wetlands Forum (CWF) as part of a small scale study funded by the EPA under its IRWC remit.  It is a very useful resource for any community group involved in wetland conservation or management projects.

The handbook is available at the following links: Google Drive and Dropbox

2022-11-25T15:54:04+00:00February 13th, 2020|

Diary Dates 2020

Some dates for your diary in 2020

2020-11-13T10:05:30+00:00December 18th, 2019|

Workshop on the Wetland Guide

Faith Wilson guiding the Workshop

Is that a wetland?!

We had a fantastic turnout today at our workshop with the National Biodiversity Data Centre, and hosted by the Cabragh Wetland Centre on the new wetland guide. Faith Wilson delivered the course, and it was attended by a diverse group including ecologists, interested individuals, and others who need to identify wetlands as part of their jobs. It was agreed by all, that no matter how much of an expert you are, it can just be really tricky to identify some wetland habitats! Faith did a great indoor session as we worked our way through the guide – she told us all about the key wetland indicators to look out for. We headed out in the afternoon to identify some of the Cabragh Wetland Centre’s wetlands. Check out some more images from the day.

2022-11-25T15:57:07+00:00September 25th, 2018|

NUIG conference

Attendees at the Inaugural International Conference

Who thinks what about wetlands?

Back in June 2016, the Irish Ramsar Wetlands Committee engaged with wetland scientists, engineers and students attending the Inaugural International Conference on Natural and Constructed Wetlands hosted by National University of Ireland Galway. IRWC wanted to explore the perceptions of the conference delegates with respect to Ramsar and wetland conservation generally. You can find out more here

2022-11-25T15:58:22+00:00September 25th, 2018|

IRWC visits Pollardstown Fen

IRWC visits Pollardstown Fen

Last Friday, IRWC visited Pollardtown Fen located near Newbridge in County Kildare. Pollardstown  is perhaps the biggest fen in Ireland, and a real mosaic of plant communities fed by dozens of calcareous springs. The site is well used by the public, facilitated by a boardwalk circuit through the southern part of the site. There were significant challenges several years back associated with managing the flooding at the site during the construction of the Kildare Bypass. The fen habitat is best managed through grazing, and currently there are associated difficulties relating to finding suitable stock for grazing a ‘wet’ site, combined with the management of stock in a heavily-visited public amenity area.

2020-02-13T17:06:07+00:00September 18th, 2018|
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