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Northern Ireland Environment Link Logo
 

News

 

Events

 

Nov 2017 right left

  
01
02

Storytelling by the Fire

Friday 3rd November
Florence Court
Adult £15

Autumn Garden Walk

Saturday 4th November
Mount Stewart
Adult £10, Child £5

Jo’s Walks — The building of Murlough: Part 1

Saturday 4th November
Murlough NNR, Keel Point, Dundrum entrance
No Charge, Donations Welcome

05

Changing Landscapes: Protecting the environment in a new Europe

Monday 6th November
Dynamic Earth, Edinburgh

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10

BTO NI Conference

Saturday 11th November
Lough Neagh Discovery Centre
see above

Path Maintenance & Scrub Control

Sunday 12th November
Bog Meadows Nature Reserve Belfast
Free

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Innovative Learning using GIS, ICT and Fieldwork

Saturday 18th November
Tollymore Field Studies Centre
£45 including lunch

Have a go: Dry Stone Walling

Saturday 18th November
Strangford Lough
No Charge, Donations Welcome

Creative Writing Workshop

Saturday 18th November
Mount Stewart
£19

Family Festive Film Fun

Saturday 18th November
Rowallane Garden
Normal Admission, Members Free

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NIEA Conference on Water Framework Directive – Future Partnerships

Saturday 25th November
College of Agriculture Food & Rural Enterprise (CAFRE), Greenmount Campus, 45 Tirgracy Road, Antrim BT41 4PS
Free

Crafted

Saturday 25th November
Castle Ward
Normal Admission, Members Free

Hedge Maintenance

Sunday 26th November
Gilford Castle, Gilford Co Armagh
Free

World Forum on Natural Capital 2017

Monday 27th November
Edinburgh International Conference Centre, Edinburgh
See website for details

Scrub Clearance & Conserving the Cryptic Wood White Butterfly

Monday 27th November
Lough Neagh Discovery Centre
Free

28

Action Renewables Energy Association – Hydrogen Economy Seminar

Wednesday 29th November
The Doyen, 829 Lisburn Road, Belfast BT9 7GY
See website for details

30
  

Biodiversity

Biodiversity refers to all living things and includes all animal and plant life, wildlife habitats and genetic variations within species.

Biodiversity

According to the Northern Ireland Environment Agency our biodiversity includes:

  • 22 land mammals, 2 species of seal and up to 12 species of whales and dolphins
  • Well over 200 bird species (not including sightings of rare and vagrant species)
  • 11 native species of freshwater fish, including the Pollan, not found anywhere else in Europe
  • Our sole reptile (the common lizard) and 2 amphibians (common frog and smooth newt)
  • Tens of thousands of marine and terrestrial invertebrates (including almost 500 species of butterflies and moths)
  • Around 1100 species of wild plants and trees
  • Countless mosses, ferns, algae, fungi and micro–organisms, and habitats

Yet like other parts of the World our biodiversity is under threat. In response, Government produced its first Northern Ireland Biodiversity Strategy (NIBS) in September 2002 and an interdepartmental Biodiversity Group was also established in 2004 to ensure co–ordination of the work of all departments and agencies in delivery of biodiversity recovery. 

NIEL provides a secretariat service to the Northern Ireland Biodiversity Group (NIBG). The role of NIBG is to coordinate and monitor the implementation of the Northern Ireland Biodiversity Strategy and its associated action programmes. With representation from farming, fishing, industry, conservation and local authority sectors the group works to promote biodiversity in the community and reports on progress towards halting biodiversity loss every 3 years. In addition to providing the secretariat to NIBG, NIEL is also part of a cross–sectoral partnership actively contributing to the development of a new Biodiversity Strategy for Northern Ireland to ensure that we have a coherent and targeted strategy to address biodiversity loss.

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Examples of invasive alien species include Japanese knotweed, floating pennywort and Zebra mussels.

To date the Northern Ireland Environment Agency has declared a total of 360 Areas of Special Scientific Interest, 6.7% of the NI land mass, 104,861 acres, with an ambition to declare 440 by 2016.

Some habitats are particularly vulnerable to climate change; the risks are clearest for montane habitats (to increased temperature), wetlands (to changes in water availability) and coastal habitats (to sea–level rise).

There is strong evidence that climate change is already affecting UK biodiversity. Impacts are expected to increase as the magnitude of climate change increases.

There are currently 65 U.K. Priority Habitats, with 51 of these in Northern Ireland.

There are currently 481 Priority Species in Northern Ireland.

Since the 1950s, 41,000 hectares of countryside has been lost to urban development, with an unquantified loss of biodiversity.

The total land area of Northern Ireland is 14,160 km2 (1,416,000 ha). Approximately 6.6% of the land area of Northern Ireland is designated as ASSI for nature conservation, including earth science interest.

The total area of sea (below mean low water) which had been designated by the end of 2005 is estimated at 26,032 ha. This figure includes an area of open sea (approx. 1,095 ha) of Strangford Lough Marine Nature Reserve which is not covered by any other designation.

The rate of habitat and biodiversity loss has slowed and protection has increased with over 100,000 hectares declared as Areas of Special Scientific Interest.

Over two–thirds (708) of 1,031 features assessed within areas of special scientific interest in Northern Ireland are in a favourable condition.

Between 1994/95 and 2010/11 the total wetland bird population is estimated to have decreased by 23%. Coastal populations declined by 4% while freshwater populations declined by 54%.

Adult common seal populations at Strangford Lough have fluctuated over recent years, but the 2012 adult population of 202 was above the average for the last ten years (199). The highest population recorded at Strangford Lough in the last ten years (288) was recorded in 2003.