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

West of Ardara/Maas Road 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

1.7 Site indication and designation / classification dates

Date site proposed as SCI:2002-01
Date site confirmed as SCI: No information provided
Date site designated as SAC: No information provided
National legal reference of SAC designation: No information provided


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2.1 Site-centre location [decimal degrees]:


2.2 Area [ha]


2.3 Marine area [%]


2.4 Sitelength [km] (optional):

No information provided

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
1130  info      1530.27  0.00 
1140  info      1259.33  0.00 
1160  info      687.681  0.00 
1210  info      4.19  0.00 
1330  info      32.01  0.00 
1410  info      47.41  0.00 
2110  info      15.73  0.00 
2120  info      19.618  0.00 
2130  info      408.645  0.00 
2140  info      67.39  0.00 
2150  info      10.199  0.00 
2170  info      2.5  0.00 
2190  info      12.31  0.00 
21A0  info  X     88.584  0.00 
3110  info      67.39  0.00 
3130  info      119.288  0.00 
4010  info      539.12  0.00 
4030  info      404.34  0.00 
4060  info      202.17  0.00 
5130  info      134.78  0.00 
6210  info  X     67.39  0.00 
6410  info      134.78  0.00 
6510  info      67.39  0.00 
7130  info  X     876.08  0.00 
7150  info      67.39  0.00 
7230  info      67.39  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.
BA052Anas crecca    24  24 
BA053Anas platyrhynchos    47  47 
BA395Anser albifrons flavirostris    104  104   
BA040Anser brachyrhynchus          DD 
BA046Branta bernicla    50  50 
BA045Branta leucopsis    320  320   
BA082Circus cyaneus     
BA064Clangula hyemalis    32  35 
BA122Crex crex          DD 
BA122Crex crex          DD 
BA038Cygnus cygnus    78  78 
I1065Euphydryas aurinia          DD 
BA098Falco columbarius     
BA103Falco peregrinus     
BA009Fulmarus glacialis          DD 
BA009Fulmarus glacialis          DD 
BA153Gallinago gallinago          DD 
BA153Gallinago gallinago          DD 
BA001Gavia stellata     
BA001Gavia stellata     
M1355Lutra lutra          DD 
I1029Margaritifera margaritifera          DD 
P1833Najas flexilis          DD 
P1395Petalophyllum ralfsii    15  15  area 
M1365Phoca vitulina    59  59   
BA346Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax    80  84   
F1106Salmo salar          DD 
BA063Somateria mollissima          DD 
BA063Somateria mollissima          DD 
BA162Tringa totanus          DD 
BA142Vanellus vanellus    16  16   
BA142Vanellus vanellus    16  16   
I1013Vertigo geyeri          DD 
  • 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
Campylopus subulatus                   
Catascopium nigritum                   
Draba incana                   
Lacerta vivipara                   
Lagopus lagopus                   
Lepus timidus hibernicus                   
Lepus timidus hibernicus                   
Lepus timidus hibernicus                   
Meles meles                   
Meles meles                   
Rana temporaria                   
Rana temporaria                   
Sphagnum pulchrum                   
Sphagnum teres                   
Triturus vulqaris                   
Weissia perssonii                   
  • 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

The site comprises most of the peninsula situated west of the Ardara/Maas road, an area of blanket bog, lakes and heath to the east of this road, two large bays to the north and south of the peninsula, the lower section of the Gweebarra River and the island of Inishkeel situated 1km to the north of the peninsula. Much of the marine component of the site comprises shallow bays, estuaries, sand and sandflats. A large area of the site comprises a mosaic of blanket bog, heath, exposed rock, lakes and other wetlands, and humid grassland, but coastal habitats such as sand dunes, machair and salt marshes are well represented. Small areas of scrub and broad-leaved deciduous woodland are scattered throughout the site. Many of the coastal sections of the site are underlain by metamorphic rocks and limestone; most of the inland section of the site is underlain by intrusive igneous granodiorites.

4.2 Quality and importance

An exceptionally diverse, large site with a wide range of marine, coastal and inland habitats, many of which are of very high quality. The site holds several rare or scarce plant and animal species, including Najas flexilis which has been recorded from two stations on the site, Petalophyllum ralfsii, populations of Margaritifera margaritifera, Vertigo geyeri, Lutra lutra, Salmo salar, Phoca vitulina and a large population of Euphydryas aurinia. The site is notable for the many important bird populations that occur, including nine species listed on Annex I of Council Directive 79/409/EEC.

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

4.4 Ownership (optional)

No information provided

4.5 Documentation (optional)

Bassett, A. (1983). Report on the Conservation Value of Irish Coastal Sites: Machair in Ireland. Unpublished report to the Forest and Wildlife Service, Dublin.Central Fisheries Board (2001). Irish Salmon Catches 2000. February 2001.Crawford, I., Bleasdale, A. and Conaghan, J. (1996). Biomar survey of Irish machair sites 1996. A report submitted to the National Parks & Wildlife Service, Dublin.Cronin, M., Duck, C., Ó Cadhla, O., Nairn, R., Strong, D. and O'Keeffe, C. (2004). Harbour seal population assessment in the Republic of Ireland: August 2003. Irish Wildlife Manuals No. 11. National Parks & Wildlife Service, Department of Environment, Heritage and Local Government., 7 Ely Place, Dublin 2, Ireland. 34 pp.Cronin, M., Duck, C., Ó Cadhla, O., Nairn, R., Strong, D. and O'Keeffe, C. (2007). An assessment of harbour seal population size and distribution in the Republic of Ireland during the 2003 moult season. J. Zool. Lond. 273 Issue 2: 131-139.Curtis, T.G.F. (1991). The Flora and Vegetation of Sand Dunes in Ireland. PP. 42-46 in: Quigley, M.B. (Ed.) A Guide to the Sand Dunes of Ireland. European Union for Dune Conservation and Coastal Management.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.Douglas, C., Dunnells, D., Scally, L. and Wyse Jackson, M.B. (1990). A Survey to Locate Lowland-Highland Blanket Bogs of Scientific Interest in Counties Donegal, Cavan, Leitrim and Roscommon. Unpublished report to the Wildlife Service, Office of Public Works, Dublin.Falvey, J.P., Costello, M.J. and Dempsey, S. (1997). Survey of intertidal biotopes in estuaries in Ireland. Unpublished report to the National Parks and Wildlife Service, Dublin.Fox, A.D., Norriss, D.W., Stroud, D.A. and Wilson, H.J. (1994). Greenland White-Fronted Geese in Ireland and Britain 1982/83-1993/94 - The First Twelve Years of International Conservation Monitoring. Greenland White-fronted Goose Study and National Parks and Wildlife Service, Office of Public Works, Dublin.Gallagher, K.A., Wheeler, A.J. and Orford, J.D. (1996). An assessment of the heavy metal pollution of two tidal marshes on the north-west coast of Ireland. Biology and the Environment, Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy 96B: 177-188.Hannon, C. (1997). The 1995 All-Ireland Tern Survey. BirdWatch Ireland Conservation Report No. 97/1.Harrington, R. (1990). 1989 survey of breeding herds of common seal Phoca vitulina with reference to previous surveys. Report to the National Parks & Wildlife Service. 10pp.Hunt, J., Derwin, J., Coveney, J. and Newton, S. (2000). Republic of Ireland. Pp. 365-416 in Heath, M.F. and Evans, M.I. (eds). Important Bird Areas in Europe: Priority Sites for Conservation 1 : Northern Europe Cambridge, UK :BirdLife International (BirdLife Conservation Series No. 8). Lavery, T.A. (1993). A review of the distribution, ecology and status of the Marsh Fritillary Eurphydryas auriuia Rottemburg, 1775 (Lepidoptera:Nymphalidae) in Ireland. The Irish Naturalists' Journal 24: 192-199.Lockley, R.M. (1966). The distrubtion of grey and common seals on the coasts of Ireland. Irish Naturalists' Journal 15: 136-143.Lloyd, C. (1982). Iventory of Seabird Breeding Colonies in Republic of Ireland. Unpublished report, Forest and Wildlife Service, Dublin.Lyons, D.O. (2004). Summary of National Parks & Wildlife Service surveys for common (harbour) seals (Phoca vitulina) and grey seals (Halichoerus grypus), 1978 to 2003. Irish Wildlife Manuals No. 13. National Parks & Wildlife Service, Department of Environment, Heritage and Local Government, 7 Ely Place, Dublin 2, Ireland. 67pp.Madden, B., Cooney, T., O' Donoghue, A., Norriss, D.W. and Merne, O.J. (1998). Breeding waders of machair systems in Ireland in 1996. Irish Birds 6. 177-190.Merne, O.J. (1989). Important Bird Areas in the Republic of Ireland. In: Grimmett, R.F.A. and Jones, T.A. (Eds). Important Bird Areas in Europe. ICBP Technical Publication No. 9, Cambridge.Merne, O.J. and Walsh, A. (2002). Barnacle Geese in Ireland, Spring 1999. Irish Birds 7: 53-56.Moorkens, E.A. (1998). An inventory of Mollusca in Potential SAC sites, with special reference to Vertigo angustior, V. moulinsiana and V. geyeri unpublished report to National Parks and Wildlife, Dublin.McCarthy, D.T. (1972). The ecology of brown trout and juvenile salmon in the River Owenea, Co. Donegal. Irish Fisheries Investigations, Series A, No 9.O'Reilly, P. (1991). Trout and Salmon Rivers of Ireland: an angler's guide. Merlin Unwin Books, London.Ruttledge, R.F. and Ogilvie, M.A. (1979). The Past and Current Status of the Greenland White-Fronted Goose in Ireland and Britain, Irish Birds 1:293 -363.Sheppard, R. (1993). Ireland's Wetland Wealth. Irish Wildbird Conservancy, Dublin.Sheppard, R. (1993). Ireland's Wetland Wealth. Irish Wildbird Conservancy, Dublin.Sheppard, R. and Sheppard, E. (1985). Neotinea maculata (Desf.) Stearn in County Donegal, The Irish Naturalists' Journal 21:534-535.Summers, C.F., Warner, P.J., Nairn R.G.W., Curry, M.G. and Flynn, J. (1980). An assessment of the status of the common seal (Phoca vitulina vitulina) in Ireland. Biological Conservation 17: 115-123.Warner, P. (1983). An assessment of the breeding populations of common seal (Phoca vitulina vitulina L.) in the Republic of Ireland during 1979. Irish Naturalists' Jounal 21: 24-26.Warner, P. (1984). Report on the census of common seals (Phoca vitulina vitulina) in the Republic of Ireland during 1984. Unpublished document to the Forest & Wildlife Service, Dublin.Way, L.S., Grice, P., MacKay, A., Galbraith, C.A., Stroud, D.A. and Pienkowski, M.W. (1993). Ireland's Internationally Important Bird Sites. Unpublished report. Joint Nature Conservation Committee, Peterborough.Whilde, A. (1985). The All Ireland Tern Survey 1984. Unpublished report for the Irish Wildbird Conservancy, Dublin. Young, R. (1973). A Report on Areas of Biological and Geological Interest in County Donegal. Unpublished report to Donegal County Council. An Foras Forbartha, Dublin.


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5.1 Designation types at national and regional level (optional):

Code Cover [%]

5.2 Relation of the described site with other sites (optional):

Designated at national or regional level:

Type code Site name Type Cover [%]
IE05Sheskinmore Lough Wildfowl Sanctuary+4.00

5.3 Site designation (optional)

No information provided


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6.1 Body(ies) responsible for the site management:

No information provided

6.2 Management Plan(s):

An actual management plan does exist:

No, but in preparation

6.3 Conservation measures (optional)

No information provided



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Map delivered as PDF in electronic format (optional)