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Clare County Library


Species Introduction
Marine Mammals
Other Mammals
Birds of Prey
Other Birds
Vascular Plants

Ducks, Geese and Swans

Gadwall Anas strepera
Gadwall are quite common in Clare and occur in lakes such as Lough Gash, Lough Donnell and Ballyallia, which holds a nationally important population. They can also be found in significant numbers in the Shannon Airport Lagoon. Gadwalls are declining in the rest of Europe.
Habitat: Rivers, lakes and wetlands
What could or does threaten the population: Loss of wetland habitat.

Shoveler Anas clypeata
The UK and Ireland support a significant proportion of the Shoveler population in Europe. In Clare Ballyallia lake and Corofin lakes hold nationally important populations of Shoveler.
Habitat: Mainly freshwater rivers and lakes.
What could or does threaten the population: Loss of wetland habitat.

Barnacle goose Branta leucopsis
Ireland has a significant proportion of the European population of Barnacle geese. Recent surveys show the population is showing a slight increase in Ireland. Barnacle geese can be found on Mutton Island, Ilaunonearaun and on coastal grasslands around Doonbeg in Clare. A large population of Barnacle geese gathers off the coast of Clare before migrating to Greenland in spring.
Habitat: Grasslands near the coast and offshore Islands.
What could or does threaten the population: Disturbance at feeding sites. Overgrazing of suitable grasslands by stock and rabbits.

White-fronted goose Anser albifrons
About 60% of the white-fronted geese migrating from Greenland over winter in Ireland. The numbers are now declining in Ireland including Clare. The White-fronted goose can only be found in three sites in Clare: in Tullaher Bog near Kilkee, Lough George and Core bog near Feakle. They can also be ocassionally seen in the Shannon Estuary.
Habitat: Peatlands, wetlands, turloughs, estuaries and low intensity farmland.
What could or does threaten the population: Agricultural intensification and drainage leading to a loss of habitat, shooting in Iceland and competition for breeding grounds from the Canada goose.

Whooper swan Cygnus cygnus
A significant proportion of the European population over winter in Ireland and they are quite common in all parts of Clare. They can be found in Ballyallia lake, the Shannon Estuary, Lough Derg area, turloughs in the Burren and West Clare wetlands.
Habitat: Lakes, marshes and wet grassland especially re-seeded grasslands.
What could or does threaten the population: Loss of habitat through drainage and disturbance.