RESIDENTS of Kilkenny city and county are encouraged to submit sightings of mammals to a new nationwide survey launched this month by the National Biodiversity Data Centre.
The Atlas of Irish Mammals survey at http://mammals.biodiversityireland.ie aims to map the distribution of all mammals found in Ireland and its territorial waters between now and 2015. For the first time ever, Irish Whale and Dolphin Group, Bat Conservation Ireland, Irish Wildlife Federation, Biology.ie and some of Ireland’s leading mammal scientists have come together to collaborate on documenting the distribution of all 64 species of mammals that are known to occur in the Irish territory. This includes 27 species of land mammal, 10 bat species, three marine mammals and probably 24 cetacean (whales and dolphins).
“Although a great deal is know about some mammal species, and there are excellent schemes for collecting data on the bats and cetacean, information on other species, such as the Irish stoat and hedgehog is lacking. This initiative should fill the remaining gaps in our knowledge,” said Dr Liam Lysaght, director of the National Biodiversity Data Centre. Members of the public are invited to submit online any sighting of mammals so that they can contribute to building up a comprehensive picture of where mammal species occur in Ireland.
“I know that there are lots of people around the county who have a great interest and knowledge about the wildlife in their area. I would encourage them to get involved in this project”, said Dearbhala Ledwidge, Kilkenny Heritage Officer.
The survey will run until the end of 2015, by which time a comprehensive picture of the distribution of all Ireland’s mammals will be produced.
For further details see http://mammals.biodiversityireland.ie.