MulkearLIFE was delighted to have an opportunity yesterday (May 3rd 2012) to attend and present at the Invasive Species Ireland (ISI) Forum held in the National Botanical Gardens, Dublin. The Forum, which meets on an annual basis, enables people from across Ireland and further afield, to exchange information and agree priorities. Most importantly its enables ISI to host various state and non-state agencies, NGOs and academics an afford all an opportunity to network and a space to participate in constructive engagement and dialogue.
Each year the Forum covers different topics. Past events have included presentations from some of Ireland’s leading invasive species experts and invasive species managers. The 2012 Forum attracted a full house of 150 delegates and included an update from Invasive Species Ireland by John Kelly, an extremely interesting talk by Anthony Jackson on the economic impact of non-native invasive species (NNIS) in Ireland together with an input by Colette O’Flynn from the National Biodiversity Data Centre on the trends in introductions of invasive species.
MulkearLIFE’s talk focused on ‘Community mobilisation for practical actions to address riparian invasive plant species’. The illustrated talk focused on the work of the project and more particularly the project’s two key partners, namely Limerick County Council and the Office of Public Works. The work of these two key partners and the scale of the non-native invasive plant species within the riparian zone of river throughout the Mulkear catchment was outlined in the presentation.
Limerick County Council’s NNIS Team, Mulkear River, June 2011 (Image: G. Wightman)
In addition, the outstanding work being undertaken by the Mulkear Conservation Volunteers. The work of the Mulkear Conservation Volunteers at High Nature Value (HNV) value sites and high amenity value sites such as Annacotty on the Mulkear River, Bilboa and Blackboy Bridges on the Bilboa River and the Clare Glens on the Clare River were highlighted. The need to develop and adhere to a site specific Management Plan for Himalayan Balsam at each site to be tackled was outlined.
Mulkear Conservation Volunteers members remove Balsam (Image: R. Ó Conchúir)
The Annacotty site in particular was highlighted in the presentation where the Mulkear Conservation Volunteers have undertaken considerable work on both sides of the Mulkear River, above and below the new and old bridges. The site in question is an important high nature value (HNV) site and is of high amenity value. The importance of general public awareness and the need to celebrate success stories was also discussed. It was noted that the Annacotty site is an important demonstration site to highlight the impact of Himalayan Balsam, on native Irish flora and fauna.
MCV members rest next to the removed Himalayan Balsam (Image: Ruairí Ó Conchúir)
Other speakers at the 2012 Forum focused on individual freshwater invasive species, on marine pathways and terrestrial invasive species. MulkearLIFE would like to thank Invasive Species Ireland for affording the project the opportunity to present at the 2102 Forum. MulkearLIFE offers is best wishes to Invasive Species Ireland in the roll-out if its important work.