Kerry

Cummeragh River Bog Nature Reserve

Co. Kerry

Location: Situated 8 km north-east of Waterville.

Area (ha.): 45.55
This bog is the most southerly intact lowland blanket bog in Ireland and is of international importance. It is almost completely encircled by the Cummeragh River and tributary. It is in excellent condition and actively growing, has a well developed pattern of hummocks and pools and has a mature and luxuriant vegetation cover. The bog, which is now owned by the National Parks and Wildlife Service, was originally purchased with donations from the Dutch Foundation for the Conservation of Irish Bogs.
Established 1984. State owned.

Animals and Plants of Interest: Curlews nest on the bog. Their long bills are adapted to probing for worms deep in the soft soil of surrounding farmland. The two rivers that border the Nature Reserve contain spawning beds for Sea Trout. There is insufficient lime in bogs for snails to form shells but you can find slugs here, including the spectacular Black Slug.

 

Eirk Bog Nature Reserve

Co. Kerry

Location: Situated in the Owenreagh valley, Killarney, 1 km north of Moll's Gap.

Area (ha.): 16
Part of a very well developed and little disturbed example of an intermediate bog with associated poor fen and blanket bog/wet heath communities.
Established 1986. State owned.

 

Great Skellig Nature Reserve

Sceilig Mhichil
Co. Kerry

Location: A small precipitous rocky pinnacle rising from the Atlantic Ocean off the Iveragh Peninsula.

Area (ha.): 22.6
Established in 1988. State owned.

Animals and Plants of Interest: It is rated as of international importance for certain seabird species - Manx Shearwaters, Storm Petrels and Puffins. It also provides a good example of typical plant communities of a small and remote marine island.

 

Lough Yganavan Nature Reserve Anaclann Dúlra Loch Gaineamháin and Lough Nambrackdarrig Nature Reserve

Co. Kerry

Location: Situated in the vicinity of Castlemaine Harbour.

Area (ha.): 25.3  & 3.9 
Established on 1988. State owned.

Animals and Plants of Interest: Lough Yganavan Nature Reserve, which covers approximately one quarter of this shallow, low-lying lake, is an important habitat for Ireland's rarest amphibian; the Natterjack Toad. This endangered species has a very limited distribution; its stronghold being a few sandy coastal sites in Co. Kerry. The Natterjack Toad has a distinctive yellow stripe down its back. It runs in short bursts, rather that hopping as a frog would. By day it shelters under stones and at dusk ventures out to feed on insects. The Natterjack Toad hibernates in winter and breeds during the spring and summer.

 

Mount Brandon Nature Reserve

Co. Kerry

Location: situated on the north-east side of the Dingle Peninsula, consists of part of the Mount Brandon range of mountains and the foothills.

Area (ha.): 461.75
The sides of Mount Brandon are covered in upland blanket bog which has built up over thousands of years. Upland blanket bogs develop in damp climates where soil becomes waterlogged and the remains of plants, which have died down each winter, are preserved and accumulate in waterlogged, acid conditions.
Established in 1986. State owned.

Animals and Plants of Interest: Choughs feed on ants and other soil invertebrates in short grassland. Ravens often feed on dead sheep and have increased in numbers with overstocking. A variety of grasses, sedges and heathers grow here and these have been used for centuries as pasture for cattle and sheep. In recent years cattle numbers have declined while those of sheep have increased. It was acquired to conserve the mountain blanket bog/heath complex and its famed alpine flora. A herd of small cattle have been bred by crossing Kerry cattle with Scottish Highland cattle in the hope that they will break up many of the Purple Moor Grass clumps and allow heathers and other blanket bog plants to grow again when sheep numbers have been reduced.


Sheheree Bog Nature Reserve

Co. Kerry

Location: situated in the Killarney district of Kerry.

Area (ha.): 8.9
This bog is the only raised bog in the Killarney district of Kerry. It has a well-developed lagg or marginal drainage system, a very rare feature in this country. It is the habitat of the plant slender cotton grass protected under the Wildlife Act. The bog is considered to be very valuable for comparative studies with the intermediate and blanket bog of the Killarney and Owenreagh valleys.
Established 1990. State owned.

 

Tralee Bay Nature Reserve

Co. Kerry

Location: Situated on the north side of the Dingle Peninsula west of the town of Tralee.

Area (ha.): 754.53
Of international importance for waterfowl especially the wintering populations of Brent geese that it supports.
Established 1989. State owned.

Animals and Plants of Interest: Pale-bellied Brent Geese spend form October to April in Ireland feeding on the Eelgrass and green seaweeds on the mudflats, and grazing in nearby fields and saltmarshes when this food is scarce. Birds of the bay include Turnstone, Ringed Plover, Dunlin, Redshank, Bar-tailed Godwit, Golden Plover and Curlew.


Uragh Wood Nature Reserve Tearmann Dúlra Choill na hIúraí

Co. Kerry

Location: on the south-west shore of Lough Inchiquin, west of Kenmare

Area (ha.): 87
An excellent example of hyper-oceanic, semi-natural woodland with sessile oak the dominant species.
Established 1982. State owned.

Animals and Plants of Interest: On the shore of Inchquin Lough, lies this small remnant of ancient oakwood. This habitat is now rare in Ireland as most of the woodland has been cleared away.  The wood is largely Sessile Oak with some Birch, Willow and Aspen. Unusual plants include Arbutus unedo known as the Strawberry Tree, Birds Nest Orchid, St. Patrick's Cabbage and some rare lichens.  The reserve is also home to Badgers, Foxes, Red Squirrels and birds such as the Jay and Long-eared Owl.

Access: No public access due to the rough terrain. Uragh Wood can be viewed from the road on the far shore of Lake Inchiquin. Walkers will see the wood from the Beara Way where it passes between Cloonee Lough and Lake Inchiquin or from Glaninchiquin.

 

Derrymore Island

Co. Kerry

Location: Situated in Tralee Bay.

Area (ha.): 106.07
A compound spit composed of a series of pebble beaches, one of the best spits in Ireland. It supports many rare plant communities mainly of a salt marsh type.
Privately owned.

Animals and Plants of Interest: Wigeon and Brent Geese graze the salt marsh on the eastern side of the spit. The white top of the spit is an important high tide roosting area.


Derrycunihy Wood Nature Reserve

Co. Kerry

Location: situated in Killarney valley adjoining and surrounding Killarney National Park.

Area (ha.): 136
Owned by Coillte Teo, this Nature Reserve consists of old native oak woodlands with some patches of bog and lakeshore. It is the best example of a damp-climate oceanic wood with luxuriant growth of mosses and ferns high up in the trees.

Animals and Plants of Interest: The wood is grazed by two kinds of deer; all year round by the Japanese Sika Deer introduced in the 19th century and in winter by the native Red Deer from the open hills. This results in a slight Brown line under which many of the palatable leaves and twigs have been eaten, and in lawn-like patches on the ground.


Little Skellig Nature Reserve

Co. Kerry

Location: A small precipitous rocky pinnacle rising from the Atlantic Ocean off the Iveragh Peninsula.

Area (ha.): 7.8
Recognised in 21st September 1988. Privately owned.

Animals and Plants of Interest: It is rated as of international importance because of the colonies of Gannets that inhabit the island.


Puffin Island Nature Reserve

Co. Kerry

Location: Puffin Island is situated off the Iveragh Peninsula.

Area (ha.): State owned 32.73.  Privately owned 53.77 
Well known for its large colonies of breeding seabirds, it is owned by the State and the Irish Wildbird Conservancy. A marine reserve has been established on the surrounding area of sea and sea shore to ensure the protection of the birds and control activities which might cause disturbance.


Tearaght Island Nature Reserve

Co. Kerry

Location: One of the Blasket group of islands.

Area (ha.): 19.1 State owned.  27.5 Privately owned.
Of international importance because of the large colonies of seabirds it supports. A marine reserve has been established on the surrounding area of sea and seashore to ensure the protection of the birds and control activities that might cause disturbance.