Cork Harbour - Special Protected Area (SPA)
Cork Harbour is located close to the city. It is a large, sheltered harbour with many river estuaries including the Rivers Owenacurra, Douglas and Lee. In 2000, Cork Harbour was designated as a Special Protected Area (SPA) because of its ornithological significance.
The entire SPA site includes the Douglas Estuary, inner Lough Mahon, Lough Beg, Whitegate Bay, Rostellan inlet.
The extensive mudflats and salt marshes around Lough Mahon and the Douglas Estuary shelter wildlife habitats that are of national importance, as well as associated flora and fauna. There are many species of Green Alga, as well as Cordgrass, Sea Puslane, Sea Aster, Thrift, Sea Lavender, Mayweed, and Sea Arrowgrass.
Cork Harbour provides shelter for over 20,000 for wintering waterfowl. Shelduck is the most common species of duck, accounting for 9.6% of the national total. There are also large populations of Teal and Wigeon at the Great Island Channel, which is a Special Conservation Area (SAC). Dunlin, Curlew, Cormorant, Great Crested Grebe, Lapwing and Greenshank are some of the bird species of national importance that inhabit the Cork Harbour area. The harbour also supports an internationally important population of Redshank.
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