Ballyteigue Burrow Nature Reserve
This site is of international importance because of its range of physical features, such as sand dunes, dune slacks, mudflats and salt marshes.
The site supports four protected plant species:
- Wild Asparagus (see photo),
- Perennial Glasswort (for which this reserve is Ireland's main location),
- Borrer's Saltmarsh Grass and
- Lesser Centaury.
The rare lichen, Fulgensia fulgens, is found on the site at its only location in Ireland.
The open warm conditions of sand dunes offer a perfect environment for a wide variety of invertebrates such as ants, bees and wasps. An assortment of butterflies and moths inhabit the dunes, including Dark Green Fritillary and Small Heath. A number of noteworthy invertebrates, particularly of the family Hymenoptera (bees and wasps) are found in the Nature Reserve.
The estuary behind the dunes attracts large numbers of overwintering birds including internationally significant numbers of Golden Plover, Lapwing, Black-tailed Godwits, Pale-bellied Brent Geese (see photo).
The mudflats provide a rich feeding ground for waders and the saltmarsh grasses provide grazing for geese, ducks and swans.