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Teagasc celebrating International Day for Biological Diversity

22 May 2020
Type Media Article

Friday 22 May is the United Nations International Day for Biological Diversity. Farming in a sustainable manner is essential to maintain biodiversity and farmed habitats. Catherine Keena Countryside Management Specialist has more information

Biodiversity in Ireland includes native Irish flora, fauna and the habitats in which they exist. As agriculture is the main land use in the country, farming in a sustainable manner is essential to maintain farmed habitats. These include uplands, extensively managed grasslands and field boundaries.  Agricultural landscapes can be viewed as a mosaic of habitat islands embedded in a matrix of more intensively used agricultural land. Hedgerows, stone walls, watercourses and diverse field margins are linear habitats within the farming platform and are really important as networks for nature through the countryside. They are habitats for birds, bats, manuals, bees and butterflies, as well as wildflowers, ferns, lichen and mosses. Linear habitats contain more biodiversity than their equivalent area in a habitat block, because of their edge to area ratio and their role in connectivity and dispersal. Quantity and quality of habitats is important with best management practices needed for sustainable management.

Upland grassland, dry heath, wet heath and blanket bog

Extensively managed grassland as traditional hay meadow

Linear habitats are key to sustainability on intensive farmland

The cuckoo who comes in April, lays its eggs in the nests of other birds, fooling them into raising its offspring, who have the navigational ability and instinct to fly back to Africa without meeting their parents.