Red Lists are documents which list the threatened species within a geographical area. Species are assessed against standard criteria and assigned a threat status. Ideally no species should appear on a Red List, but the species that do are those which are considered at most risk of extinction within the foreseeable future.
Red Lists have been completed for four groups of invertebrates, water beetles, butterflies, land and freshwater molluscs and dragonflies. The assessment and process has been a collaborative process involving National Parks and Wildlife Service, Northern Ireland Environment Agency, National Biodiversty Data Centre, CEDaR and Irish experts in the relevant groups. The documents are all available from the NPWS site. Red Lists are planned for other invertebrate groups in the next few years.
This red list covers 244 species of Irish beetles that live in aquatic habitats. Eight are considered to be regionally extinct, eight critically endangered, eleven endangered, twenty two vulnerable, twenty four near threatened, and the rest at lower risk, of least concern or data-deficient. The most endangered species are found in brackish and running waters. However, the international importance of Ireland is recognised in sustaining viable populations of many fen and lake species that are otherwise under threat in Europe.
Foster, G. N., Nelson, B. H. & O Connor, Á. 2008. Ireland Red List No. 1 – Water beetles. [7,267KB] National Parks and Wildlife Service, Department of Environment, Heritage and Local Government, Dublin, Ireland.
The red list of Ireland’s land and freshwater molluscan fauna recognised the international importance of the Irish population of ten species. Large proportions of their global population exist in Ireland. Two Irish species are extinct and 45 species are considered threatened. Species declines are primarily driven by habitat loss, especially drainage and decline in water quality, with climate change and introduced species also significant factors.
Byrne, A., Moorkens, E.A., Anderson, R., Killeen, I.J. & Regan, E.C. (2009) Ireland Red List No. 2 – Non-Marine Molluscs. [12,057KB] National Parks and Wildlife Service, Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government, Dublin, Ireland.
Eighteen percent of the native Irish butterfly fauna is under threat of extinction. A further 15 percent is Near Threatened. The results show that one species is extinct (Mountain Ringlet), six species are threatened (Endangered or Vulnerable) and five species are Near Threatened. This situation is due to population declines and range reductions caused in the main by decline in habitat quality.
Regan, E.C., Nelson, B., Aldwell, B., Bertrand, C., Bond, K., Harding, J., Nash, D., Nixon, D., Wilson, C.J. 2010. Ireland Red List No. 4 – Butterflies. [2,199KB] National Parks and Wildlife Service, Department of Environment, Heritage and Local Government, Ireland.
Damselflies and Dragonflies
Four of the 24 species of resident damselfly and dragonfly (Odonata) are assessed as threatened, and one species as near threatened. Three of the threatened species are found in low nutrient status wetlands and the nutrient enrichment of these habitats is regarded as the primary threat to them.
Nelson, B., Ronayne, C. & Thompson, R. 2011. Ireland Red List No.6: Damselflies & Dragonflies (Odonata). [1,633KB] National Parks and Wildlife Service, Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government, Dublin, Ireland.