Database release:
SDF
NATURA 2000 - STANDARD DATA FORM

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

TABLE OF CONTENTS

1. SITE IDENTIFICATION

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1.1 Type

B

1.2 Site code

IE0000268

1.3 Site name

Galway Bay Complex SAC

1.4 First Compilation date

1999-08

1.5 Update date

2021-12

1.6 Respondent:

Name/Organisation:National Parks and Wildlife Service, Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht
Address:               
Email:datadelivery@chg.gov.ie

1.7 Site indication and designation / classification dates

Date site proposed as SCI:1999-08
Date site confirmed as SCI: No information provided
Date site designated as SAC:2021-10
National legal reference of SAC designation:548/2021

2. SITE LOCATION

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2.1 Site-centre location [decimal degrees]:

Longitude:-9.038200
Latitude:53.199800

2.2 Area [ha]

14387.6935

2.3 Marine area [%]

89.6600

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 %)

3. ECOLOGICAL INFORMATION

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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
1140  info      744.291  0.00 
1150  info      76.6713  0.00 
1160  info      10824.5  0.00 
1170  info      2772.7  0.00 
1220  info      0.6241  0.00 
1230  info      18.85  0.00 
1310  info      1.3484  0.00 
1330  info      263.797  0.00 
1410  info      19.8893  0.00 
3180  info      63.3081  0.00 
5130  info      1.4149  0.00 
6210  info  X     144.09  0.00 
7210  info      144.09  0.00 
7230  info      144.09  0.00 
8240  info      125.844  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.
BA056Anas clypeata    73  73   
BA052Anas crecca    446  446   
BA050Anas penelope    1294  1294   
BA053Anas platyrhynchos    294  294   
BA169Arenaria interpres    151  151   
BA062Aythya marila    39  39   
BA046Branta bernicla    517  517   
BA149Calidris alpina    1465  1465   
BA137Charadrius hiaticula    266  266   
BA064Clangula hyemalis    27  27   
BA002Gavia arctica    28  28   
BA003Gavia immer    35  35   
BA130Haematopus ostralegus    417  417   
BA157Limosa lapponica    316  316   
M1355Lutra lutra          DD 
BA070Mergus merganser    232  232   
BA160Numenius arquata    620  620   
BA017Phalacrocorax carbo    300  300 
BA017Phalacrocorax carbo    224  224   
M1365Phoca vitulina    317  317   
BA140Pluvialis apricaria    1440  1440   
BA141Pluvialis squatarola    76  76   
BA193Sterna hirundo    99  99   
BA191Sterna sandvicensis    81  81   
BA048Tadorna tadorna    119  119   
BA164Tringa nebularia    20  20   
BA162Tringa totanus    498  498   
BA142Vanellus vanellus    3507  3507   
  • 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)

Species

Population in the site

Motivation

Group CODE Scientific Name S NP Size Unit Cat. Species Annex Other categories
     MinMax C|R|V|PIVVABCD
Ardea cinerea    93  93             
Ascophyllum nodosum var. mackii                     
Brundinia meridionalis                     
Cerastoderma glaucum                     
Chaetomorpha linum                     
Chara canescens                     
Conopeum seurati                     
Cordylophora caspia                     
Crambe maritima                     
Cygnus olor    141  141             
Enochrus bicolor                     
Gammarus chevreuxi                     
Hydrobia ventrosa                     
Hyoscyamus niger                     
Idotea chelipes                     
Jaera ischiosetosa                     
Lamprothamnium papulosum                     
Lepus timidus hibernicus                     
Lepus timidus hibernicus                     
Lepus timidus hibernicus                     
Littorina tenebrosa                     
Mycale contarenii                     
Neomysis integer                     
Ochthebius auriculatus                     
Ochthebius punctatus                     
Ostrea edulis                     
Palaemonetes varians                     
Paracentrotus lividus                     
Pholas dactylus                     
Phyllophora sicula                     
Pomatias elegans                     
Rana temporaria                     
Rana temporaria                     
Rhodymenia delicatula                     
Ruppia cirrhosa                     
Ruppia maritima                     
Stenus nigritulus                     
  • 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

4. SITE DESCRIPTION

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4.1 General site character

Habitat class % Cover
N0181.00
N027.00
N031.00
N041.00
N052.00
N061.00
N071.00
N081.00
N091.00
N101.00
N161.00
N221.00
N231.00

Total Habitat Cover

100

Other Site Characteristics

The Galway Bay Complex is a very large, marine-dominated, site situated on the west coast of Ireland. The inner part of the south bay is protected from exposure to Atlantic swells by the Aran Islands and Black Head. Subsidiary bays and inlets (e.g. Poulnaclough, Aughinish and Kinvara Bays) add texture to the patterns of water movement and sediment deposition, which lends variety to the marine habitats and communities. The terraced Carboniferous (Visean) limestone platform of the Burren sweeps down to the shore and into the sublittoral. West of Galway city, the bedrock geology is granite. The long shoreline is noted for its diversity, with complex mixtures of bedrock shore, shingle beach, sandy beach and fringing salt marshes. Other habitats which occur in small amounts include lagoon, fen, turlough, dry grassland, wet grassland and deciduous woodland.

4.2 Quality and importance

The site has very important and good quality examples of large shallow inlets and bays, intertidal mud and sandflats, and reefs. The area has the countrys only recorded example of the littoral community characterized by Fucus serratus with sponges, ascidians and red seaweeds on tide-swept lower eulittoral mixed substrata. Sublittorally, the area has Irelands only reported piddock bed, an extensive maerl bed of Phymatolithon calcareum, an oyster bed, and seagrass beds. A host of rare marine organisms occur, including the sea urchin Paracentrotus lividus, the sponge Mycale contarenii, the red algae Phyllophora sicula and Rhodymenia delicatula. Lagoons are particularly well represented and varied in type, size and salinity. Of especial importance are the rare karstic rock lagoons, of which the site holds all but one of the examples known from the mainland of Ireland. Good quality salt marshes of both Atlantic and Mediterranean types are well represented and occur along with perennial vegetation of stony banks. A very good, though limited, example of calcareous grassland rich in orchids occurs, and there are examples of alkaline fen and Juniperus communis scrub of moderate quality. Two Red Data Book stoneworts occur, Chara canescens and Lamprothamnium papulosum, and also two Red Data Book vascular plants - Crambe maritima and Hyoscyamus niger. The site has one of the largest populations of Phoca vitulina in the country, and provides optimum habitat for Lutra lutra. Galway Bay is a very important ornithological site, with an internationally important wintering population of Branta bernicla hrota and regular nationally important populations of a further 16 species, including Gavia immer, Gavia arctica, Pluvialis apricaria and Limosa lapponica. Breeding birds of note are Phalacrocorax carbo, Sterna sandvicensis and Sterna hirundo.

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]
MA02.01i
MA04.02.01i
MA04.02.02i
MC01.01i
MC01.01.02i
LD01.01i
MD02.02i
HD03i
LD03.01.01i
LD03.01.01i
HD03.01.04i
LE03.03i
MF01b
LF02.03.01i
MF06i
LG01.01.02i
LG02.01i
HH01.05b
HH01.08b
MI01b
MJ02.01.02i
MJ02.01.02i
LJ02.02.02i
LJ02.05.01b
HJ02.12.01i
Positive Impacts
RankActivities, management [code]Pollution (optional) [code]inside/outside [i|o|b]
MJ02.05.01b

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)

Booth, D.A. (1974). The Water Structure and Circulation of Killary Harbour and of Galway Bay. Unpublished M.Sc. thesis, National University of Ireland. Costelloe, J., Keegan, B.R. and Konnecker, G.F. (1986). Rocky subtidal assemblages on the west coast of Ireland. Hydrobiologia 142: 97-111. Colhoun, K. (1998). I-WeBS Report 1996-97. BirdWatch Ireland, Dublin. Curtis, T.G.F. and Sheehy Skeffington, M.J. (1998). The salt marshes of Ireland: an inventory and account of their geographical variation. Biology and the Environment, Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy 98B: 87-104. De Valera, M., Pybus, C., Casley, B. and Webster, A. (1979). Littoral and benthic investigations on the west coast of Ireland, X. Marine algae of the northern shores of the Burren, County Clare. Proceedings of the Royal Irish Acadamy 79B: 259 269.Farrington, A. (1964). Raised beaches in Galway Bay. Irish Naturalists' Journal 14: 216-217.Good, J.A. (1999). Irish Coastal Lagoon Survey, 1998. Vol 5. Unpublished report to National Parks and Wildlife, Dublin.Good, J.A. and Butler, F.T. (1998). Coastal lagoon shores as a habitat for Staphylinidae and Carabidae (Coleoptera) in Ireland. Bulletin of the Irish Biogeographical Society 21: 21-66.Hannon, C., Berrow, S.D. and Newton S.F. (1997). The status and distribution of breeding Sandwich Sterna sandvicensis, Roseate S. dougallii, Common S. hirundo, Arctic S. paradisaea and Little Terns S. albifrons in Ireland in 1995. Irish Birds 6: 1-22.Hatch, P. and Healy, B. (1998). Aquatic vegetation of Irish coastal lagoons. Bulletin of the Irish Biogeographical Society 21: 2-21.Harper, D.A.T. (1991). The brachiopods Neocrania and Terebratulina from Galway Bay. Irish Naturalists' Journal 23: 371-374.Healy, B. (1999). Irish Coastal Lagoon Survey, 1998. Vol 1, Part 1. Background, Description and Summary of the surveys. Unpublished report to National Parks and Wildlife, Dublin.Healy. B. and Oliver, G.A. (1998). Irish coastal lagoons: summary of a survey. Bulletin of the Irish Biogeographical Society 21: 116-151.Healy, B,. Oliver, G.A., Hatch, P. and Good, J.A. (1997). Coastal Lagoons in the Republic of Ireland. Vol. 2 Inventory of Lagoons and Saline Lakes. Unpublished report to the National Parks and Wildlife Service, Dublin.Heffernan, M.L. (1995). Shellfish Farming and Special Protections Areas for Birds in Ireland. Unpublished M.Sc. thesis. Trinity College, Dublin. 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 I: Northern Europe. Cambridge, UK: BirdLife International (BirdLife Conservation Series No. 8).Lansbury, I. (1965). Notes on Hemiptera, Coleoptera, Diptera and other Invertebrates of the Burren, Co. Clare and Inishmore, Aran Islands. Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy 64B: 89-115.Lloyd, C. (1982). Inventory of Seabird Breeding Colonies in the Republic of Ireland, Unpublished report to the Forestry and Wildlife Service, Dublin.Lockley, R.M. (1966). The distribution of grey and common seals on the coasts of Ireland. The Irish Naturalists Journal 15: 136-143. 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. Murphy, K.P. and Fairley, J.S. (1985a). Food of otters Lutra lutra on the south shore of Galway Bay. Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy 85B: 47-55.Murphy, K.P. and Fairley, J.S. (1985b). Food and sprainting places of otters on the west coast of Ireland. The Irish Naturalists' Journal 21: 477-479. OConnor, B, McGrath, D., Konnecker, G., and Keegan, B. F. (1993). Benthic macrofaunal assemblages of Greater Galway Bay. Biology and Environment, Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy 93B: 127-136.Oliver, G.A. (1999). Irish Coastal Lagoon Survey, 1998. Vol 4. Unpublished report to National Parks and Wildlife, Dublin. .Oliver, G.A. and Healy B. (1998). Records of aquatic fauna from coastal lagoons in Ireland. Bulletin of the Irish Biogeographical Society 21: 66-115.Pybus, C. and Pybus, M.J. (1981). An ecological study of Lough Murree, a brackish water lake in County Clare. Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy 80B: 367-384Roden, C. (1999). Irish Coastal Lagoon Survey, 1998. Vol 3. Unpublished report to National Parks and Wildlife, Dublin.Ryland, J.S. (1969). Some shore fishes from Galway Bay. The Irish Naturalists' Journal 16: 127-131Ryland, J.S. and Nelson-Smith, A. (1975). Littoral and benthic investigations on the west coast of Ireland - IV. (Section A: faunistic and ecological studies.) Some shores in counties Clare and Galway. Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy 75B: 245-266. Ruttledge, R.F. (1994). Birds in Counties Galway and Mayo. An account of Their Status and Distribution. Irish Wildbird Conservancy, Dublin. Sheehy-Skeffington, M. (1987). Lough Atalia and Adjacent Marshes - Wildlife and Flora of Interest. Unpublished report, University College, Galway. Sheppard, R. (1993). Irelands Wetland Wealth. IWC, Dublin. Stewart, N. and Church, I. (1992). Red Data Books of Britain and Ireland: Stoneworts. JNCC, Peterborough. 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. The Irish Naturalists Journal 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 and Wildlife Service, Dublin.Webb, D.A. and Scannell, M.J.P. (1983). Flora of Connemara and the Burren. Royal Dublin Society and Cambridge University Press, Dublin and Cambridge.Whilde, A. (1983). The wintering bird communities of Inner Galway Bay. Irish Birds 2: 278-293. Whilde, A. (1985). The All Ireland Tern Survey 1984. Unpublished report for the Irish Wildbird Conservancy, Dublin. Whilde, A. (1990). Birds of Galway. Irish Wildbird Conservancy, Galway. 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.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.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.

5. SITE PROTECTION STATUS

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

Code Cover [%]
IE051.00

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

Designated at national or regional level:

Type code Site name Type Cover [%]
Inner Galway Bay*99.00
IE05Lough Rusheen Wildfowl Sanctuary*1.00

Designated at international level:

Type Site name Type Cover [%]
Other Inner Galway Bay*99.00

5.3 Site designation (optional)


No information provided

6. SITE MANAGEMENT

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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:

Yes
No, but in preparation
X
No

6.3 Conservation measures (optional)


No information provided

 

7. MAP OF THE SITE

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INSPIRE ID:IE.NPWS.PS.NATURA2000.SAC.IE0000268
Map delivered as PDF in electronic format (optional)
Yes
X
No

SITE DISPLAY