Spotlight on biodiversity in Ireland

Biodiversity, globally and in our own country, is going through a tough time. It is important to get informed about halting its decline, in order to keep our world healthy. Every single plant and animal is precious – destroying one can have a huge impact on the other plants and animals that might depend upon it. Biodiversity also supplies important eco-system services like clean air, food, textiles and medicines.

Some of Ireland’s diverse plants and animals are under threat because:

  • Many local species depend on woodland to survive – but Ireland has only 11% forest cover.
  • Our coast is under pressure from property development, litter, pollution and erosion.
  • Bogs are disappearing due to the use of peat as a fuel.
  • Hedges are in danger from farmers clearing land.
  • Invasive species are becoming more apparent. For example, the grey squirrel, which threatens the red squirrel’s survival, and rhododendron bushes, which spread in woodland areas and are hard to eradicate.
  • Intensive farming is an economically viable way to feed our world but it is at a cost to our biodiversity. 
  • Climate change means species will experience changes in their ranges, moving to higher latitudes and altitudes as temperatures increase. It could also see the introduction of more invasive species as our climate becomes more hospitable to them. 

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