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)



Back to top

1.1 Type


1.2 Site code


1.3 Site name

Killarney National Park, Macgillycuddy's Reeks and Caragh River Catchment 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:1997-08
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


Back to top

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
IE02Southern and Eastern

2.6 Biogeographical Region(s)

Atlantic (0.00 %)


Back to top

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
3110  info      3176.32  0.00 
3130  info      2999.17  0.00 
3260  info      764.78  0.00 
4010  info      3059.13  0.00 
4030  info      6883.04  0.00 
4060  info      764.78  0.00 
5130  info      764.78  0.00 
6130  info      0.31  0.00 
6410  info      764.78  0.00 
7130  info  X     3059.13  0.00 
7150  info      764.78  0.00 
91A0  info      2294.35  0.00 
91E0  info      764.78  0.00 
91J0  info      764.78  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     
F5046Alosa killarnensis          DD 
BA052Anas crecca    208  208   
BA053Anas platyrhynchos    350  350   
BA395Anser albifrons flavirostris    38  38   
BA059Aythya ferina    81  81   
BA061Aythya fuligula    323  323   
I1065Euphydryas aurinia          DD 
BA098Falco columbarius     
BA103Falco peregrinus    20  20   
BA125Fulica atra    169  169   
I1024Geomalacus maculosus          DD 
F1099Lampetra fluviatilis          DD 
F1096Lampetra planeri          DD 
M1355Lutra lutra          DD 
I1029Margaritifera margaritifera          DD 
P1833Najas flexilis          DD 
F1095Petromyzon marinus          DD 
BA274Phoenicurus phoenicurus     
BA314Phylloscopus sibilatrix     
BA346Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax    19  33   
M1303Rhinolophus hipposideros    300  300   
F1106Salmo salar          DD 
BA193Sterna hirundo     
BA310Sylvia borin    10   
BA282Turdus torquatus     
  • 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
Ablaxia anaxenor                     
Alchemilla alpina                     
Amara montivaga                     
Apatania muliebris                     
Apataria auricula                     
Aromia moschata                     
Asplenium billotii                     
Brachyopa insensilis                     
Bromus racemosus                     
Buchonomyia thienemanni                     
Callidium violaceum                     
Capria atra                     
Carum verticillatum                     
Cephalanthera longifolia                     
Cervus elaphus                     
Chlaenius tristis                     
Cordulea aenea                     
Cricotopus lygropsis                     
Deschampsia alpina                     
Draba incana                     
Dryopteris affinis stillupensis                     
Eriophorum gracile                     
Eurycnemus crassipes                     
Formica lugubris                     
Frangula alnus                     
Hammarbya paludosa                     
Hybomitra muhlfeldi                     
Hydroptila tigurina                     
Lagopus lagopus                     
Larsia atrocinta                     
Lebia crux-minor                     
Leptura aurulenta                     
Lepus timidus hibernicus                     
Lepus timidus hibernicus                     
Lepus timidus hibernicus                     
Limnaea involuta                     
Limnophorus rufoscutellatus                     
Logfia minima                     
Lycopodiella inundata                     
Macrophyta duodecempunctata                     
Martes martes                     
Martes martes                     
Meles meles                     
Meles meles                     
Mesoplobius tibillis                     
Miscogaster maculata                     
Monotropa hypopitys                     
Myotis daubentoni                     
Myotis daubentoni                     
Myotis nattereri                     
Myotis nattereri                     
Nyctalus leisleri                     
Nyctalus leisleri                     
Omalotheca sylvatica                     
Pergamasus brevicornis                     
Pilularia globulifera                     
Pipistrellus pipistrellus                     
Pipistrellus pipistrellus                     
Plecotus auritus                     
Plecotus auritus                     
Polystichum lonchitis                     
Prunus padus                     
Pseudorchis albida                     
Pyropterus nigroruber                     
Quercusia quercus                     
Salticella fasciata                     
Salvelinus alpinus                     
Saussurea alpina                     
Setodes argentipunctellus                     
Simethis planifolia                     
Somatochlora arctica                     
Sorbus anglica                     
Spiranthes romanzoffiana                     
Stachys officinalis                     
Subularia aquatica                     
Teesdalia nudicaulis                     
Tetanocera freyi                     
Viola lactea                     
Xylophagus ater                     
  • 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


Back to top

4.1 General site character

Habitat class % Cover

Total Habitat Cover


Other Site Characteristics

This is the largest terrestrial site in Ireland and encompasses the mountains and lakes of the Iveragh Peninsula and the Paps range. It is the most mountainous region of Ireland, and includes the highest peak Carrauntoohil at 1039 m. The underlying rock is almost entirely Old Red Sandstone, although carboniferous limestone occurs on the east side of Lough Leane. Glacial processes have shaped the sandstone into dramatic ridges and valleys, including the well wooded Killarney valley. A wide range of semi-natural habitats are present, along with some improved land and forestry in the Caragh River catchment. Generally, the proximity of the site to the Atlantic in the south-west ensures a strong oceanic influence.

4.2 Quality and importance

This site is of great ecological importance. It includes the most extensive oakwoods in the country, with some of the best bryophyte communities in Europe; Ireland's only sizable stand of Yew; excellent examples of blanket bog, alluvial woodland; good quality oligotrophic lakes, some of which support rare glacial relicts; unpolluted rivers with aquatic vegetation and rare invertebrates and fish; and several other annexed habitats. The site also supports 12 Annex II species of flora and fauna, six Annex I bird species and at least 33 Irish Red Data Book species. Many rare bryophytes and invertebrates are also present, several at their only known Irish locations.

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)

Anon. (1990). Killarney National Park - Management Plan. Office of Public Works, Dublin. Ashe, P. (1982). Ecological and taxonomic studies on the Chironmidae (Diptera : Nematocera): I. A study of the Chironomidae of the River Flesk, south-west Ireland. II. A catalogue of the Chironomid genera and sub-genera of the world including synonyms. Ph.D. Thesis, National University of Ireland, Dublin.Ashe, P. & Murray, D.A. (1980). Nostocladius, a new sub-genus of Cricotopus (Diptera: Chironomidae), pp. 105-111. In Murray, D.A. (ed.) Chironomidae - Ecology, Systematics, Cytology & Physiology. Pergamon Press, Oxford. Batten, L.A. (1976). Bird communities of some Killarney woodlands. Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy. 76B: 285-313. Berrow, S.D., Mackie, K.L., O'Sullivan, O., Shepherd, K.B., Mellon, C. & Coveney, J.A. (1992). The Second International Chough Survey, Ireland, 1992. Unpublished report to IWC, Dublin and RSPB, Belfast.Bracken, J.J. (1998). The Killarney Valley. In: Studies of Irish Rivers and Lakes. Essays on the occasion of the XXVII Congress of Societas Internationalis Limnologiae (SIL)., Moriarty, C. (ed.) Dublin Marine Institute pp. 145-167.Carruthers, T.D. (1991). Greenland White-fronted Goose studies in the Killarney National Park. A Progress Report 1991-1992. Unpublished report to National Parks & Wildlife Service, Dublin. Carruthers, T.D. & Gosler, A.G. (1995). The breeding bird communities of the Killarney yew wood. Irish Birds 5: 308-318. Carruthers, T.D. & Larner, J. (1993). Birds of the Killarney National Park. Office of Public Works, Dublin.Central Fisheries Board (2001). Irish Salmon Catches 2000. 2001.Chandler, P.J., (1972). The distribution of snail-killing flies (Dipt. sciomyzidae) Proc. Transactions of the British Entomological Society 5: 1-21.Clabby, P.J., Lucey, J., McGarrigle, M.C., Bowman, J.J., Flanagan, P.J. & Toner, P.F. (1992). Water Quality in Ireland 1987-1990. Part One : General Assessment. Environmental Research Unit, Dublin.Curtis, T.G.F. & MhicDaeid, C. (1981). Mullahanattin, Glencar, Co. Kerry, 21-23 July. Watsonia 13(3). Curtis, T.G.F. & McGough, H.N. (1988). The Irish Red Data Book. 1. Vascular Plants. Stationery Office, Dublin. Doris, Y., McGarrigle, M.L., Clabby, K.J., Lucey, J., Neill, M., Flanagan, M., Quinn, M.B. and Lehane, M., (eds). (1999). Water Quality in Ireland 1995-97. Statistical compendium of River Quality Data, Environmental Protection Agency.Douglas, C. Garvey, L., Kelly, L. & O'Sullivan, A. (1989). Survey to Locate Blanket Bogs of Scientific Interest in Counties Sligo and Kerry. Unpublished report to Forest & Wildlife Service, Dublin.Dowling, C., O'Conner, M., O'Grady, M.F. & Clynes, E. (1981). A baseline survey of the Caragh, an unpolluted river in south-west Ireland: topography and water chemistry. Journal of Life Sciences, Royal Dublin Society 2(2): 137 - 45.Dowling, C., O'Connor, J.P. & O'Grady, M.F. (1981). A baseline survey of the Caragh, an unpolluted river in south-west Ireland: observations on macroinvertebrates. Journal of Life Sciences, Royal Dublin Society. 2: 147-159. Dowling, C., O'Connor, J.P. & O'Grady, M.F. (1978). The Caragh River Survey 1974-1977. Final report, section 3: studies on the macroinvertebrates. National Science Council of Ireland. Doyle, G.J. (1982). Minuartio-Thlaspietum alpestris (Vioetea calaminariae) in Ireland. Journal of Life Sciences, Royal Dublin Society. 3: 143-146.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.Fitzgerald, R. (1994). Protected and Threatened Flora Survey of Co. Kerry. Unpublished report to the National Parks & Wildlife Service, Dublin. Flanagan, P.J. & Toner, P.F. (1975). A Preliminary Survey of Irish Lakes. An Foras Forbartha, Dublin. Fox, A.D., Norriss, D.W., Stroud, D.A. & Wilson, H.J. (1994). Greenland White-fronted Geese in Ireland and Britain 1983/84-1993/94. GWFG Study Research report No. 8. Goodwillie, R. (1976). A Preliminary Report on Areas of Scientific Interest in County Kerry. An Foras Forbartha, Dublin. Hart, H.C. (1882). Report on the botany of the Macgillycuddy Reeks. Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy 2. Sci. III: 573. Heuff, H. (1980). The Vegetation of Irish Lakes. Part 2. Unpublished report to the Forest & Wildlife Service, Dublin. Heuff, H. & Horkan, K. (1984). Caragh. In Whitton, B.A. (ed.), Ecology of European Rivers. pp.366-384. Blackwell Scientific Publications. Hutchinson, C.D. (1979). Ireland's Wetlands and their Birds. Irish Wildbird Conservancy, Dublin. Iremonger, S.F. (1986). An Ecological Account of Irish Wetland Woods; with Particular Reference to the Principle Tree Species. Unpublished Ph.D. Thesis, Trinity College, Dublin.Irish Fisheries (2001). Irish fisheries angling reports. 18 January 2001.Kelly, D.L. (1975). Native Woodlands in Ireland with Especial Reference to the Region of Killarney. Ph.D. Thesis, Trinity College, Dublin.Kelly, D.L. (1981). The native forest vegetation of Killarney, south-west Ireland. An ecological account. Journal of Ecology 69: 437-472. Kurt, I. & Costello, M.J. (1996). Current Knowledge on the Distribution of Lampreys, and some other Freshwater Fish Species listed in the Habitats Directive, in Ireland. Unpublished report, National Parks & Wildlife Service, Dublin. Lavery, T. (1993). A review of the distribution, ecology and status of the marsh fritillary Euphydryas aurinia Rottemburg, 1775 (Lepidoptera: Nymphalidae) in Ireland. Irish Naturalists' Journal 24: 192-198. Lloyd, C. (1982). Inventory of Seabird Breeding Colonies in the Republic of Ireland. Unpublished report to the Forest & Wildlife Service, Dublin.Lotschert, W. (1982). The heavy metal content of some Irish plants. Journal of Life Sciences, Royal Dublin Society. 3: 261-266. Lucey, J., Bowman, JJ, Clabby, K.J., Cunningham, P., Lehane, M., MacCarthaigh, M., McGarrigle, M.L. and Toner, P.F. (1999). Water Quality in Ireland 1995-1997. Environmental Protection Agency, Wexford. MhicDaeid, C. (1976). A Phytosociological and Ecological Study of Vegetation of Peatlands and Heaths in the Killarney Valley. Ph.D. Thesis, Trinity College, Dublin. Mitchell, F.J.G. & Averis, A.B.G. (1988). Atlantic Bryophytes in Three Killarney Woods. Unpublished report, Macauley Land Use Research Institute/Nature Conservancy Council, Edinburgh. Mooney, E. & Goodwillie, R. (draft report 1991). Mountain Blanket Bog Survey 1991. Report in preparation to the National Parks & Wildlife Service, Dublin. Moorkens, E.A. (1995). Mapping of Proposed SAC Rivers for Margaritifera margaritifera. Unpublished report to National Parks & Wildlife Service, Dublin.Murray, D.A. & Ashe, P. (1981). A description of the pupa of Buchonomyia theinemanni Fittkau, with notes on its ecology and on the phylogenetic position of the subfamily Buchonomyiinae (Diptera, Chironomidae). Spixiana, 4: 55-68. Murray, D.A. & Ashe, P. (1981). A description of the larvae and pupa of Eurycnemus cassipes (Panzer) (Diptera : chironomidae). Ent. Scand., 12: 357-361. Ní Dhúill, E., Smyth, N., Waldren, S. & Lynn, D. (2015). Monitoring methods for the Killarney Fern (Trichomanes speciosum Willd.) in Ireland. Irish Wildlife Manuals, No. 82. National Parks and Wildlife Service, Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Ireland.Norton, M.A., Dowling, C., O'Grady, M.J. & Clynes, E. (1978). The Caragh River Survey 1974-1977: Final report, section 2: physico-chemical investigation. National Science Council of Ireland. NPWS (2017) Conservation Objectives: Killarney National Park, Macgillycuddy's Reeks and Caragh River Catchment SAC 000365. Version 1. National Parks and Wildlife Service, Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht.O Maoileidigh, N. (1990). A Study of Fish Populations in the Killarney Lakes. Ph.D. Thesis. National University of Ireland. O'Sullivan, A., Byrne, C. & MhicDaeid, E.C. (1995). Information on populations of Annex II plant species recorded in SAC No. 365. Unpublished report to the National Parks & Wildlife Service, Dublin. O'Sullivan, P. (1994). Bats in Ireland. Special supplement to the Irish Naturalists' Journal. Platts, E.A. & Speight, M.C.D. (1988). The taxonomy and distribution of the Kerry slug, Geomalacus maculosus Allman, 1843 (Mollusca: Arionidae) with a discussion of its status as a threatened species. Irish Naturalists' Journal 22: 417-430. Praeger, R.L., (1934). The Botanist in Ireland. Hodges, Figgis & Co. Dublin. Ruttledge, R.F. & Ogilvie, M.A. (1979). The past and current status of the Greenland White-fronted Goose in Ireland and Britain. Irish Birds 1: 293-363.Scully, R.W. (1916). Flora of County Kerry. Hodges, Figgis & Co., Dublin. Sheppard, R. (1993). Ireland's Wetland Wealth. Irish Wildbird Conservancy, Dublin. Speight, M.C.D. (1972). Ground beetles (Col. Carabidae) from the Bourne Vincent National Park. Irish Naturalists' Journal 17: 226-230. Speight, M.C.D. (1976). Amara montivaga sturm (Col. Carabidae) in Ireland. Ent. Mon. Mag. 111 (1337-1339): 200. Speight, M.C.D. & de Courcy Williams, M. (1981). Macrophyta duodecempunctata, Nematus frenalis and Pamphilius gyllenhali: sawflies (Hymenoptera: Symphyta) new to Ireland. Irish Naturalists' Journal 20: 345-347. Speight, M.C.D. (1988). Ectaetia platyscelis, Setisquamalonchaea setisquama & Suillia humilis: insects new to Ireland. Bullentin of the Irish Biogeographical Society 11: 22-27. Speight, M.C.D. (1988). The Irish cerambycid fauna (Coleoptera: cerambycidae). Bullentin of the Irish Biogeographical Society 11: 41-76.Stewart, N. (undated). Bryophyte and Lichen Reports. Unpublished reports to the National Parks & Wildlife Service, Dublin. Visser, G. & Zoer, J.A. (1976). Abbreviated report of a botanical and malacological study performed in the south-western part of Ireland. Unpublished report, Research Institute for Nature Management, Leersum, the Netherlands. Went, A.E.J. (1947). Irish Salmon 1945. Scientific Proceedings of the Royal Dublin Society 24(19): 165-178.Whilde, A. (1993). Irish Red Data Book 2: Vertebrates. HMSO, Belfast. Whittow, J.B. (1975). Geology and Scenery in Ireland. Penguin, Harmondsworth. Willmot, A. (1983). An ecological survey of the ferns of the Killarney district, Co. Kerry, Ireland. Fern Gazatte 12: (5).


Back to top

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 [%]
Killarney National Park*13.00
IE01Derrycunihy Nature Reserve+1.00
IE05Derrycunihy / Galavally Sanctuary+1.00
IE01Eirk Bog Nature Reserve+1.00
IE01Cummeragh River Bog Nature reserve+1.00
IE03Killarney National Park*13.00

Designated at international level:

Type Site name Type Cover [%]
Other Killarney National Park*13.00

5.3 Site designation (optional)

No information provided


Back to top

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



Back to top
Map delivered as PDF in electronic format (optional)