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Biodiversity Day



<< Heritage of Clare

Clare is one of the first counties in Ireland to start the process of implementing a Local Biodiversity Action Plan (LBAP). The National Biodiversity Plan requires each county to produce a Local Biodiversity Action Plan. The main functions of a Local Biodiversity Action Plan (LBAP) are to translate Irish and international policies and legislation into effective local action on the ground and to raise public awareness of and involvement in the conservation of biodiversity. The LBAP process will identify all the habitats and species present in Clare and prioritise the vital actions necessary to conserve biodiversity of both national and local importance.

What is Biodiversity?
Biodiversity is an abbreviation for biological diversity. Biological diversity is the variety of all life, the variety of plants and animals and the range of areas where they live. Biodiversity includes habitats, species and genetic diversity. Biodiversity is not just wildlife, it is the variety of all life including domestic animals and crops and even humans.

Why is Biodiversity Important?
Biodiversity provides many services and products which are necessary for human life. Products include food such as fish, meat and vegetables. Biodiversity provides us with fuel and building materials from wood, peat and coal. All medicines are derived from extracts of plants or animals. Biodiversity also provides us with land and seascapes which are both aesthetically pleasing and posses uses for recreation. Some of the many functions biodiversity provides include air and water purification, control of pests and diseases, pollination of crops and soil stabilisation. The balance of nature has developed over millennia as a very intricate system. Each organism has its role to play in ensuring the well being of the natural system. To try to manufacture the products and services biodiversity provides would be extremely expensive and often not even possible.

Biodiversity is disappearing at an alarming rate worldwide, primarily due to the loss of habitats. Therefore it is very important that we protect the biodiversity locally and nationally.

Biodiversity in County Clare
Clare hosts a wide range of animal and plant species as well as some of the best examples of threatened habitats in Europe. This publication highlights just a few of the thousands of animal and plant species living in Clare. There are about 55 mammals (land and sea), 780 higher plant species, 400 seaweed species and 21 freshwater fish species (10 native, 11 introduced) which occur in the wild in County Clare. Some of the many important habitats in the County are also highlighted. The Burren is of high biodiversity interest and value primarily due to the variety and combination of plants in the area. The Shannon estuary is the most important site in Ireland for over-wintering wildfowl and waders and home to the only known resident group of Bottlenose dolphins in Ireland. Clare is internationally notable for habitats such as turloughs, limestone pavement and orchid-rich grassland and for many species such as Pine martens, butterflies, moths and Lesser horseshoe bats.

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