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Clare County Library


Habitats Introduction

Marine & Coastal Habitats



Limestone Habitats

Woodland, Trees and Hedgerows

Gardens and Parks

Buildings and Stone Walls


Ballyalla Lake

Clare has some of the cleanest wetlands and rivers in Ireland as well as many internationally notable lakes and fens. The East Burren contains an internationally important complex of wetlands including turloughs, lakes and fens.

Ballyallia Lake is one of the best lakes in Europe for watching wildfowl. About 5,000 wildfowl and waders use the site over the winter.

Turloughs are almost unique to Ireland and Clare and Galway hold the majority in Ireland.

Many turloughs are designated as Special Areas of Conservations (SACs) due to the rarity of the habitat internationally and the rare plant and animal species they support. Ballyvaughan turlough, Lough Gash turlough and Carran turlough are examples of turloughs in Clare designated as SACs.

Wetlands are declining or degraded throughout much of Europe, including many parts of Ireland. The causes of damage and decline can include drainage, industrial pollution, ineffective septic tanks, silage runoff, afforestation and over fertilisation.

Wetland Habitats in the Clare 101 List


- Lakes
- Rivers
- Turlough
- Fen

Species found in Wetlands from the Clare 101 list

- Otter
- Gadwall
- Whooper swan
- Shrubby cinquefoil
- Scarce emerald damselfly
- Black-tailed skimmer
- Four spotted chaser
- Kingfisher
- Common Frog
- Fen violet
- Shoveler
- Triangular clubrush