Wildlife Content

Ireland has a rich natural heritage – from the sandbanks of the Shannon Estuary to the fens of Monaghan… from the natterjack toad to the Atlantic salmon… from the Killarney fern to the freshwater pearl mussel.

Invasive Species Control: Lough Corrib, Co. Galway

African curly-leaved waterweed (Lagarosiphon major) is an invasive, non-native, aquatic plant species that was first recorded in a natural aquatic habitat in Ireland in 2005. The plant was found to be establishing itself in a number of locations in Lough Corrib, Co. Galway, which supports 14 habitats and 6 species designated for protection under European Habitats Directives. Lough Corrib also supports an important recreation and fishing industry which was being threatened by the growth of the plant.

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Control efforts started in 2008 and the weed control and eradication measures completed to date have resulted in a massive reduction in weed infestation in upper Lough Corrib. The actual area of lake infested with the weed has been reduced from 92ha in 2008 to just 19.6ha by late 2012. The programme has opened up areas of the lake to recreational users which were previously inacessible because of massive weed stands. The removal of the weed has allowed the lake's native fauna and flora to recolonise previously infested areas. The project has benefited the local area through the protection of the angling industry, which is both an important revenue stream for the local economy and an important amenity resource for the local community.

This project received €14,000 in 2012 under the Heritage Management Scheme, the project was also grant-aided in 2011 and 2010.