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

Tralee Bay and Magharees Peninsula, West to Cloghane 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:2021-10
National legal reference of SAC designation:550/2021


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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
IE02Southern and Eastern

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      306.215  0.00 
1140  info      1685.05  0.00 
1150  info      128.991  0.00 
1160  info      10130.7  0.00 
1170  info      2855.77  0.00 
1210  info      6.0633  0.00 
1220  info      2.7846  0.00 
1230  info      2.14  0.00 
1310  info      116.32  0.00 
1330  info      97.7015  0.00 
1410  info      36.3205  0.00 
2110  info      5.91  0.00 
2120  info      14.5812  0.00 
2130  info      263.315  0.00 
2170  info      41.356  0.00 
2190  info      22.238  0.00 
6410  info      116.32  0.00 
91E0  info      3.6913  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.
BA054Anas acuta    48  48   
BA056Anas clypeata    144  144   
BA052Anas crecca    699  699   
BA050Anas penelope    427  427   
BA051Anas strepera    20  20   
BA169Arenaria interpres    477  477   
BA062Aythya marila    1712  1712   
BA046Branta bernicla    398  398   
BA144Calidris alba    327  327   
BA149Calidris alpina    2949  2949   
BA149Calidris alpina          DD 
BA143Calidris canutus    320  320   
BA148Calidris maritima    103  103   
BA137Charadrius hiaticula          DD 
BA137Charadrius hiaticula    268  268   
BA003Gavia immer    39  39   
BA157Limosa lapponica    710  710   
BA156Limosa limosa    256  256   
M1355Lutra lutra          DD 
BA065Melanitta nigra    327  327   
BA069Mergus serrator    57  57   
BA160Numenius arquata    897  897   
P1395Petalophyllum ralfsii    1871  1871  area 
BA140Pluvialis apricaria    2278  2278   
BA141Pluvialis squatarola    303  303   
BA346Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax          DD 
BA048Tadorna tadorna    259  259   
BA164Tringa nebularia    24  24   
BA162Tringa totanus    421  421   
BA142Vanellus vanellus          DD 
BA142Vanellus vanellus    5833  5833   
  • 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
Anagallis minima                   
Arabis brownii                   
Asperula cynanchica                   
Bromus racemosus                   
Bufo calamita                   
Bufo calamita                   
Calliactis parasitica                   
Cercyon sternalis                   
Chara canescens                   
Cuscuta epithymum                   
Distomus variolosus                   
Halcampa chrysanthellum                   
Inocybe halophila                   
Laomedia angulata                   
Limnia unguicornis                   
Lithothamnion coralliodes                   
Lithothamnion glaciale                   
Ostrea edulis                   
Paracentrotus lividus                   
Phyllophora sicula                   
Piccia cavernosa                   
Platycheris perpilladus                   
Ranunculus lingua                   
Rumex hydrolapathum                   
Ruppia cirrhosa                   
Sematophyllum micans                   
Sphaerophoria loewii                   
Thymosia guernei                   
Trifolium fragiferum                   
Zostera marina                   
Zostera noltii                   
  • 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

Tralee Bay and Magharees Peninsula west to Cloghane SAC comprises a very diverse area of important coastal habitats. The site forms a unit of interconnecting coastal habitats stretching from inner Tralee Bay west to Fenit Harbour and Brandon Bay. The Magharee peninsula consists of Lower Carboniferous limestone. Bedrock in the rest of the bay is composed of Middle Carboniferous limestone and Old Red Sandstone. Tralee Bay itself is shallow, sheltered and sedimentary. Subsidiary inlets within Tralee Bay (Bealathaleen Creek and Barrow Harbour) are extremely sheltered. Within the site there are several types of coastal habitat, the dominant and most ecologically important of which are estuarine habitats (mudflats and sandflats not covered by water at low tide, Atlantic and Mediterranean salt meadows & Salicornia swards), dune-complexes ('white-dunes', grey-dunes and dune-slacks) and a lagoon. The site features large expanses of intertidal mudflats, often fringed with saltmarsh vegetation. Distinct areas of estuarine habitat within the site have their own unique characteristics, e.g. Derrymore Island, is unusually rich in species and biotopes. Plant species are typically scarce on the mudflats, although there are some Eel-grass beds (Zostera spp.) and patches of green algae (e.g. Ulva sp. and Enteromorpha sp.). The main macro-invertebrate community, which has been noted from the mud-flat areas are a Hediste-Macoma-Nepthys community. The dominant invertebrate communities of sandflats within the site are Polychaetes and Cerastoderma edule in medium to fine sandy shores and Arenicola marina and bivalves in mid to lower shore muddy flats. In the transition zone between mudflats and saltmarsh, specialised colonisers of mud predominate: swards of Spartina anglica frequently occur in sheltered areas of mudflat particularly in the vicinity of Derrymore Island. Less common are swards of Salicornia europaea agg. Saltmarsh vegetation frequently fringes the mudflats & the most important and extensive areas of this habitat are around Blennerville, Derrymore Island and Fermoyle. The dominant type of saltmarsh present is Atlantic salt meadow over mud. Turf fucoids (Fucus spp.) are associated with areas of Atlantic salt meadow in the site. Areas of Mediterranean salt meadows are sometimes associated with the above habitat. The site contains a large, shallow, natural sedimentary lagoon Lough Gill (circa. 170ha-200ha). The lagoon has a long artificial sluiced outlet and salinity is rather low (<1% except near the outlet). Shoreline vegetation is composed mainly of reed beds, while aquatic vegetation in the lagoon includes typical species such as Ruppia maritima. The fauna includes one lagoon specialist, Lekanesphaera hookeri. Soft sea-cliffs occur on both the northern and southern shores of Tralee bay, and are best represented between Derrymore and Kilgobbin. The cliffs contribute to habitat diversity and constitute an Annex I habitat. Sand dunes comprise a significant portion of the terrestrial habitat of this site, including four Annexed habitats: Embryonic shifting dunes, Shifting Dunes along the shoreline with Ammophila arenaria (white dunes), Humid dune slacks, Dunes with Salix repens and the priority habitat Fixed Dunes with herbaceous vegetation (grey dunes). The dune complex stretches along the southern shoreline of the site from the seaward side of Derrymore Island westward to Cloghane. The most extensive and most important area of the dune complex comprises the Magharees Tombola and it is here that the priority Fixed dune habitat is most extensive within the site.

4.2 Quality and importance

The site is very important in terms of (a) the variety of sublittoral sediment communitites in which a number of rare species occur and good examples of littoral and sublittoral reef communities; (b) the extensive intertidal habitats, which support internationally important numbers of wintering waders and wildfowl, including several which are listed in Annex I of the EU Birds Directive, and (c) the fringing coastal habitats, which provide excellent examples of a number of Annexed habitats (most notably the fixed dunes & dune slacks at Maherabeg, which are among the most species-rich examples of these habitats in Ireland, and the lagoon known as Lough Gill, which is important geomorphologically). These coastal habitats also support populations of the Annex II species Petalophyllum ralfsii, along with a range of other interesting species of flora and fauna, including the largest Irish breeding population of the Red Data Book species, Natterjack Toad (Bufo calamita). This site contains a stand of alluvial woodland that is assigned to the Corylo-Fraxinetum deschampsietosum subassociation. While small in area and subject to disturbance, wet woodland is rare on the Dingle peninsula. The site includes areas of species-rich wet grassland referable to EU Habitats Directive Annex I habitat, Molinia meadows. Lutra lutra has a regular presence within the site. The importance of the SAC is enhanced by the fact that it contains two SPAs (Tralee Bay and Lough Gill), two nature reserves (Derrymore Island and Tralee Bay) and a wildfowl sanctuary (Lough Gill).

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 (). The An Taisce Report on the Lough Gill Natural Heritage Site. Unpublished report.Anon (1974). Report on wetlands of international and national importance in the Republic of Ireland. Forest & Wildlife Service, Dublin.Anon (1998). Conservation plan for a Natura 2000 site: Tralee Bay cSAC and SPA, Co. Kerry. Unpublished report (Draft II) by Dúchas, The Heritage Service.Barron, S.J., Delaney, A., Perrin, P.M., Martin, J.R. & O’Neill, F.H. (2011). National survey and assessment of the conservation status of Irish sea cliffs. Irish Wildlife Manuals, No. 53. National Parks & Wildlife Service, Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government, Dublin.Berrow, S.D., Mackie, K.L., O' Sullivan, O., Shepherd, K.B., Mellon, C. and Coveney, J.A. (1993). The second International Chough Survey in Ireland, 1992. Irish Birds 5:1-10.Bowman, J.J., Clabby, K.J., Lucey, J., McGarrigle, M.L. and Toner, P.F. (1996). Water Quality in Ireland 1991-1994. Environmental Protection Agency, Wexford. 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. Environmental Research Unit, Dublin.Colhoun, K. (1998). I-WeBS Report 1996-97: Results of the third winter of the Irish Wetlands Bird Survey. BirdWatch Ireland, Dublin.Curtis, T.G.F. and McGough, H.N. (1988). The Irish Red Data Book: 1 Vascular Plants. Wildlife Service, Dublin.Delaney, A., Devaney, F.M, Martin, J.R. and Barron, S.J. (2013) Monitoring survey of Annex I sand dune habitats in Ireland. Irish Wildlife Manuals, No. 75. National Parks and Wildlife Service, Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Dublin.Delany, S. (1996). I-WeBS Report 1994-94: Results of the first winter of the Irish Wetlands Bird Survey. BirdWatch Ireland, Dublin.Delany, S. (1997). I-WeBS Report 1995-96: Results of the second winter of the Irish Wetlands Bird Survey. BirdWatch Ireland, Dublin.Falvey, J.P., Dempsey, S. and Costello, M.J. (1997). Survey of estuarine intertidal sites in Ireland. Unpublished report to NPWS by ESU, Trinity College, Dublin.Gibbons, M. (1981). Reproduction, demography and feeding of the Natterjack Toad Bufo calamita in Co. Kerry, 1981. A report to the Forest and Wildlife Service.Goodwillie, R. (1972). A preliminary report on areas of ecological and geological interest in Co. Kerry. An Foras Forbartha, Dublin.Gresson, R.A.R. and Dubhda, S. (1971). Natterjack Toads Bufo calamita Laur. at Castlegregory and Fermoyle, Co. Kerry. INJ 17 (1): 9-11.Gresson, R.A.R. and Dubhda, S. (1974). The distribution of the Natterjack Toad Bufo calamita Laur. in Co. Kerry. INJ 18 (4): 97-103.Guilcher, A. and King, C.A.M. (1961). Spits, tombolos and tidal marshes in Connemara and west Kerry, Ireland. Proc. R.I.A. 61:283-338.Harrington, T.J. (1990). A report on the golf course development at Castlegregory, Co. Kerry - its impact on the flora and fauna. Unpublished report.Healy, B. and Oliver, G., Hatch, P. & Good, J. (1997). Inventory of lagoons and saline lakes. Report prepared for NPWS, Dublin.Healy, B. and Oliver, G.A. (1998). Irish Coastal lagoons: summary of a survey pp. 116-150, Bull. Ir. biogeog. Soc. No. 21.Hutchinson, C. (1979). Ireland's wetlands and their birds. IWC, Dublin.McCarthy, T.K., Staunton, M., Hasset, D. and Gibbons, M. (1983). Observations on the distribution and demography of breeding colonies of Natterjack Toads Bufo calamita in Ireland. A report to the Forest and Wildlife Service.O' Connor, P.G. and Jeal, J. (1975). Some notes on the distribution of Bufo calamita Laur., the Natterjack Toad in Ireland deriving from a survey conducted in 1975. Bull. Ir. biogeog. Soc. No. 8.Ryle, T., Murray, A., Connolly, K. and Swann, M. (2009) Coastal Monitoring Project 2004-2006. A report submitted to the National Parks and Wildlife Service, Dublin.Sheppard, R. (1993). Ireland's Wetland Wealth. IWC, Dublin.Speight, M.C.D. (1982). Arcocera globulus, Limnia paludicola and Sphaerophoria loewi: insects new to Ireland. Ir. Nat. J., 20(9):369-372.Stewart, N. (c1993). Bryophyte Report. Unpublished report to NPWS, Dublin.Stewart, N.F. and Church, J.M. (1992). Red Data Book of Britain & Ireland: Stoneworts. JNCC, Peterborough.Whilde, A. (1993). Threatened mammals, birds, amphibians and fish in Ireland. Irish Red Data Book 2: Vertebrates. HMSO, Belfast.Wyse Jackson, P. (1990). A summary assessment of the environmental impact of the development of the Castlegregory Golf Course on the vegetation and ecology of the Castlegregory Dune Complex, Dingle Peninsula, Co. Kerry, Ireland. Unpublished report.Wyse Jackson, P. (c1993). The vegetation and ecology of the sand dunes of the Magheree Peninsula, Castlegregory, Co. Kerry, with particular reference to the Maherabeg commonage, Castlegregory, Co. Kerry. A summary report.Hugh-Jones, D.L. (1994). Farming the Eruopean flat oyster (Ostrea edulis) in Ireland today. Bulletin of the Aquaculture Association of Canada 94 (4): 3 - 8.O' Connor, B.D.S. (1987). The benthic communities of the west coast of Ireland. Proceedings of the 3rd Annual Lough Beltra Workshop. Galway 25th February 1987.


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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 [%]
Tralee Bay+7.00
IE05Lough Gill Wildfowl Sanctuary+2.00
IE01Tralee Bay Nature Reserve+7.00
IE02Derrymore Island Nature Reserve+1.00

Designated at international level:

Type Site name Type Cover [%]
Other Tralee Bay+7.00

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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