Database release:

For Special Protection Areas (SPA),
Proposed Sites for Community Importance (pSCI),
Sites of Community Importance (SCI) and
for Special Areas of Conservation (SAC)



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1.1 Type


1.2 Site code


1.3 Site name

Lough Gill SAC

1.4 First Compilation date


1.5 Update date


1.6 Respondent:

Name/Organisation:National Parks and Wildlife Service, Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht
Date site proposed as SCI:1999-08
Date site confirmed as SCI: No data
Date site designated as SAC: No data
National legal reference of SAC designation: No data


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2.1 Site-centre location [decimal degrees]:


2.2 Area [ha]


2.3 Marine area [%]


2.4 Sitelength [km]:


2.5 Administrative region code and name

NUTS level 2 code Region Name
IE01Border, Midland and Western

2.6 Biogeographical Region(s)

Atlantic (0.00 %)


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3.1 Habitat types present on the site and assessment for them

Annex I Habitat types Site assessment
Code PF NP Cover [ha] Cave [number] Data quality A|B|C|D A|B|C
      RepresentativityRelative SurfaceConservationGlobal
3150  info      2589.95  0.00 
6210  info  X     7.8  0.00 
91A0  info      99.61  0.00 
91E0  info      33.2  0.00 
  • PF: for the habitat types that can have a non-priority as well as a priority form (6210, 7130, 9430) enter "X" in the column PF to indicate the priority form.
  • NP: in case that a habitat type no longer exists in the site enter: x (optional)
  • Cover: decimal values can be entered
  • Caves: for habitat types 8310, 8330 (caves) enter the number of caves if estimated surface is not available.
  • Data quality: G = 'Good' (e.g. based on surveys); M = 'Moderate' (e.g. based on partial data with some extrapolation); P = 'Poor' (e.g. rough estimation)

3.2 Species referred to in Article 4 of Directive 2009/147/EC and listed in Annex II of Directive 92/43/EEC and site evaluation for them

Species Population in the site Site assessment
G Code Scientific Name S NP T Size Unit Cat. D.qual. A|B|C|D A|B|C
      MinMax  Pop.Con.Iso.Glo.
BA229Alcedo atthis       
BA053Anas platyrhynchos    128  128     
I1092Austropotamobius pallipes           
BA061Aythya fuligula    23  23     
BA067Bucephala clangula    19  19     
F1099Lampetra fluviatilis           
F1096Lampetra planeri           
BA179Larus ridibundus    63  63     
M1355Lutra lutra           
F1095Petromyzon marinus           
F1106Salmo salar           
BA193Sterna hirundo    20  20     
  • Group: A = Amphibians, B = Birds, F = Fish, I = Invertebrates, M = Mammals, P = Plants, R = Reptiles
  • S: in case that the data on species are sensitive and therefore have to be blocked for any public access enter: yes
  • NP: in case that a species is no longer present in the site enter: x (optional)
  • Type: p = permanent, r = reproducing, c = concentration, w = wintering (for plant and non-migratory species use permanent)
  • Unit: i = individuals, p = pairs or other units according to the Standard list of population units and codes in accordance with Article 12 and 17 reporting (see reference portal)
  • Abundance categories (Cat.): C = common, R = rare, V = very rare, P = present - to fill if data are deficient (DD) or in addition to population size information
  • Data quality: G = 'Good' (e.g. based on surveys); M = 'Moderate' (e.g. based on partial data with some extrapolation); P = 'Poor' (e.g. rough estimation); VP = 'Very poor' (use this category only, if not even a rough estimation of the population size can be made, in this case the fields for population size can remain empty, but the field "Abundance categories" has to be filled in)

3.3 Other important species of flora and fauna (optional)


Population in the site


Group CODE Scientific Name S NP Size Unit Cat. Species Annex Other categories
     MinMax C|R|V|PIVVABCD
Acicula fusca                     
Arbutus unedo                     
Callophrys rubi                     
Celastrina argiolus                     
Coenagrion lunulatum                     
Cygnus olor                 
Ena obscura                     
Erynnis tages                     
Lacerta vivipara                     
Leptidea sinapis                     
Limax cinereoniger                     
Marpessa laminata                     
Martes martes                     
Martes martes                     
Meles meles                     
Meles meles                     
Mustela erminea hibernica                     
Mustela erminea hibernica                     
Prunus padus                     
Pseudorchis albida                     
Pyrola media                     
Quercusia quercus                     
Rana temporaria                     
Rana temporaria                     
Sciurus vulgaris                     
Spermodea lamellata                     
Triturus vulgaris                     
Zenobiella subrufescens                     
  • Group: A = Amphibians, B = Birds, F = Fish, Fu = Fungi, I = Invertebrates, L = Lichens, M = Mammals, P = Plants, R = Reptiles
  • CODE: for Birds, Annex IV and V species the code as provided in the reference portal should be used in addition to the scientific name
  • S: in case that the data on species are sensitive and therefore have to be blocked for any public access enter: yes
  • NP: in case that a species is no longer present in the site enter: x (optional)
  • Unit: i = individuals, p = pairs or other units according to the standard list of population units and codes in accordance with Article 12 and 17 reporting, (see reference portal)
  • Cat.: Abundance categories: C = common, R = rare, V = very rare, P = present
  • Motivation categories: IV, V: Annex Species (Habitats Directive), A: National Red List data; B: Endemics; C: International Conventions; D: other reasons


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4.1 General site character

Habitat class % Cover

Total Habitat Cover


Other Site Characteristics

Lough Gill is a moderate to large sized lake lying immediately east of Sligo town. It is fed by the River Bonet and drains into the sea via the Garvogue River, a short, wide and slow flowing river which passes through Sligo town. The lake lies along the junction between old metamorphic rocks to the south and limestone to the north. The water of the lake is thus influenced by both acidic and alkaline inputs, although nearly all the basin lies over limestone. The lake is 8 km by 2-3 km and has an area of 1,400 ha. It is a deep lake, with maximum depth at 31 m. Islands are a feature of the lake. Much of the shoreline is wooded and there is also some swamp vegetation, wet grassland and scrub along the shoreline. The lake is an important salmonid and coarse fishery and is used for a range of recreational activities. The site also includes the Shanvans and Owenmore rivers.

4.2 Quality and importance

An important example of a lake which appears to be naturally eutrophic. Quality generally good though blooms of blue-green algae in recent years indicate some artificial enrichment. Significant areas of alluvial forest occur along the Garvoge River (Osmunda - Salicetum atrocinerea type) and at the mouth of the River Bonet (Carici remotae - Fraxientum type). Old oak woodland of varying quality is well scattered along the shoreline and on some of the islands and is an important example of this habitat for western Ireland. At least six Red Data Book plant species have been recorded from site. Site has three species of lamprey and Austropotamobius pallipes. The lake and its associated rivers support an important population of Salmo salar. Lutra lutra has a good population within the site. Of minor importance for birds though the site has a small breeding colony of Sterna hirundo. A wide range of rare or scarce invertebrates are known from the site, as well as several Red Data Book mammal species, including Martes martes.

4.3 Threats, pressures and activities with impacts on the site

The most important impacts and activities with high effect on the site

Negative Impacts
RankThreats and pressures [code]Pollution (optional) [code]inside/outside [i|o|b]
Positive Impacts
RankActivities, management [code]Pollution (optional) [code]inside/outside [i|o|b]

Rank: H = high, M = medium, L = low
Pollution: N = Nitrogen input, P = Phosphor/Phosphate input, A = Acid input/acidification,
T = toxic inorganic chemicals, O = toxic organic chemicals, X = Mixed pollutions
i = inside, o = outside, b = both

4.5 Documentation

Central Fisheries Board (2001). Irish Salmon Catches 2000. 2001. Clabby, K.J., Lucey, J., McGarrigle, M.L., Bowman, J.J., Flanagan, P.J. and Toner, P.F. (1992). Water Quality in Ireland 1987-1990. Part One General Assessment. Environmental Research Unit, Dublin. Cotton, D.C.F. (1982). Coenagrion lunulatum (Charpentier) (Odonata: Coenagridae) new to the British Isles. Entomologists Gazette 33: 213-214. Cotton, D.C.F. (1993). Ecological Study of Lough Gill - to Predict the Effects of the Sligo and Environs Water Supply Scheme on the Flora and Fauna with Suggestions for Future Management. Report prepared in conjunction with Jennings ODonovan and Partners for Sligo County Council. Cotton, D.C.F. and Cawley, M. (1993). New records for vascular plants from Cos. Sligo (H28) and Leitrim (H29). Irish Naturalists Journal 24: 288-295. Colhoun, K. (1998). I-WeBS Report 1996-97. BirdWatch Ireland, Dublin. Doris, Y., McGarrigle, M.L., Clabby, K.J., Lucey, J., Neill, M., Flanagan, M., Quinn, M.B., Sugrue, M. and Lehane, M. (1999). Water Quality in Ireland 1995-1997. Statistical Compendium of River Quality Data. Electronic Publication on Disk. Environmental Protection Agency, Wexford. Flanagan, P.J. and Toner, P.F. (1975). A preliminary survey of Irish lakes. An Foras Forbartha, Water Resources Division. Goodwillie, R. (1972). A Preliminary Report on Areas of Scientific Interest in County Sligo. An Foras Forbartha, Dublin. Jennings ODonovan and Partners (1994). Sligo and Environs Water Supply Scheme. Ecology Study. Report prepared for Sligo County Council. Kelly, D.L. and Iremonger, S.F. (1997). Irish wetland woods: the plant communities and their ecology. Biology and Environment - Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy 97B: 1-32. Kurz, I. and Costello, M.J. (1998). An Outline of the Biology, Distribution & Conservation of Lampreys in Ireland. Irish Wildlife Manual No. 5 Dúchas The Heritage Service. O'Reilly, P. (1991). Trout and Salmon Rivers of Ireland: an Anglers Guide. Merlin Unwin Books, London. Praeger, R.L. (1932). Some noteworthy plants found in or reported from Ireland. Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy 41B (4): 95-124. Praeger, R.L. (1934). The Botanist in Ireland. Hodges & Figgis, Dublin. Round, F.E. and Brook, A.J. (1959). The phytoplankton of some Irish loughs and an assessment of their trophic status. Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy 60B (4): 167-191. Thompson, E., Ryan, S. and Cotton, D.C.F. (1998). Management Plan for the Lough Gill Catchment. Sligo County Council. Whilde, A. (1985). The All Ireland Tern Survey 1984. Unpublished report for the Irish Wildbird Conservancy, Dublin. Whilde, A., Cotton, D.C.F., and Sheppard, R. (1993). A repeat survey of gulls breeding in Counties Donegal, Sligo, Mayo and Galway, with recent counts from Leitrim and Fermanagh. Irish Birds 5: 67-72.


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6.2 Management Plan(s):

An actual management plan does exist:

No, but in preparation



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