Biodiversity

Limerick city and county has a very rich and diverse range of natural ecosystems.

  • The Shannon Estuary
  • The riverine habitats of Limerick’s rivers and their tributaries including the Shannon, the Abbey, the Deel, the Feale, the Maigue, and the Mulkear 
  • The uplands areas such as the Ballyhouras
  • The Galtees
  • The hills of West Limerick
  • Sliabh Reagh
  • Sliabh Felim  

The agricultural lowlands including the Golden Vale also contribute to the extensive biodiversity of Limerick, as does natural woodlands such as that found in Curraghchase, and the extensive natural hedgerows throughout the county. 

Wetlands areas found throughout the county on the upland bogs, and in the city at Westfields in the city. Fens are also located in Limerick and can be found in the Askeaton area. The Loughmore Common turlough is located on the outskirts of the city at Mungret. Many of these habitats are of international importance having been designated Special Protection Areas (SPAs), Special Areas of Conservation (SACs) and NHAs, as determined by the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS), having notable species of flora and fauna. 

There are 19 of these designations in Limerick city and county. 

For futher information about National Parks and Wildlife Service Protected Sites click here.

A contributory factor to human settlement in Limerick as long as 8,000 years ago was the natural environment offering shelter, fuel and source of food for pre-christian people. Man has continued to play an integral part in the evolution of biodiversity throughout the ages.

Limerick’s natural environment is under significant threat. For freshwater species, major threats include the over-extraction of water, pollution caused by agricultural, forestry, industrial and domestic effluents and the introduction of alien species. Other major threats come from changes in water quality, farming intensification and afforestation, urbanisation and tourism, and the consumptive use of natural resources. Climate change, acidification and eutrophication is also damaging the environment.

Ireland as an EU Member State has committed to halting biodiversity loss by 2020. The Local Authority is dedicated to safe-guarding natural heritage as it is a non-renewable asset that this generation is morally obligated to pass on in a sustainable manner to future generations. In contributing to safe-guarding our natural heritage the Council is to commence the preparation of a Heritage and Biodiversity Plan later this year for Limerick city and county.
 

Contact Information

Tom O’Neill
Heritage Officer
Limerick City and County Council

Phone: +353 61 557229 
Email: thomas.oneill@limerick.ie

 

Useful links

Limerick City and County Council assists and promotes national biodiversity initiatives where possible.