Site navigation:

ECOFACT Terrestrial Invertebrates - ECOFACT

The category page

Terrestrial Invertebrates

ECOFACT undertake a range of terrestrial macroinvertebrate surveys, both as part of general ecological investigations and also for specific protected and rare species.

Terrestrial invertebrates can be sampled by a range of active collecting methods, including:

  • Active and visible species, such as butterflies and bumblebees, may be assessed and identified by direct observation during a walk over survey the site.
  • A hand search of important invertebrate habitats, including dead wood, beneath stones, and common invertebrate host-plants, is often undertaken.
  • Sweep-netting is a suitable method for flying insects and for sampling vegetation.
  • Beating is a method used to dislodged invertebrates from woody debris and vegetation. The dislodged invertebrates are caught on a tray.
  • A variety of traps can be used, including pitfall, malaise, flight intercept, sticky and light traps.
  • Extraction of insects from leaf litter using extractors or water funnels, is another useful method.

The samples are then preserved and identified in the laboratory following completion of the survey, with taxonomic identification completed in-house with the use of microscopes and keys.

Terrestrial-invertebrate-survey terrestrial-macroinverts Ephemera-danica

Marsh fritillary Larvae Surveys

Ecofact have recently completed a number of larval surveys for the Marsh FritillaryEuphydras aurinia butterfly; the only Irish insect listed under Annex II of the EU Habitats Directive. The Marsh Fritillary has declined due to changing landuse, but is still widespread in Ireland.

The optimum time to survey for Marsh Fritillary is in the period September and October when the larvae can be found within silken webs on the leaves of its food plant Devil’s-bit Scabious. Our ecologists have extensive experience in both surveys for this species, and also management of the habitats it inhabits.

Marsh-fritillary-larvae Marsh-fritillary-surveys Marsh-fritillary-survey

Whorl Snail Surveys and Management

A total of eight species of Whorl snail are known to occur in Ireland; three of which are listed under Annex II of the EU Habitats Directive. These species are offered protection by the designation of conservation sites which extends the protected status to both the species and the habitats upon which they rely. These species are: Vertigo angustior (EU code 1014), Vertigo geyeri (EU code 1013) and Vertigo moulinsiana (EU code 1016)These species of whorl snails are particularly sensitive to changes in hydrology. Such changes have become more evident in recent times.

ECOFACT have undertaken numerous assessments of whorl snails species and have advised state agencies (including the OPW and the NRA) on the management of these species and their habitats.

Current News Stories:

  • Filming a documentary on Sea Lampreys

    We were delighted to work recently with BBC Earth on a documentary on Sea Lampreys Petromyzon marinus. The filming took place during early-June 2017 on the old River Shannon at Castleconnell, Co Limerick. This is part of the Lower River Shannon Special Area of Conservation, and Sea Lampreys are a key conservation interest of this […]

    Continue Reading
  • Major new book – Wildlife and Wind Farms

    A major new book will be published in May 2017 entitled ‘Wildlife and Wind Farms: Conflicts and Solutions’. Volume 1 of this book includes a chapter prepared by Ecofact Principal Ecologist Dr. William O’Connor. The two-volume set provides a comprehensive overview of the interactions between wind farms and wildlife, each volume dedicated to one of the two […]

    Continue Reading
  • Surveying wintering birds in the Irish Midlands

    Our staff are currently undertaking a number of wintering bird surveys in the Irish Midlands. Here we have provided some photos and videos from bird surveys we undertook during December 2015. Our bird surveys are undertaken to inform both the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) and Natura Impact Statement (NIS) reports being prepared for proposed wind energy […]

    Continue Reading
  • Marine and estuarine ecology surveys

    Marine and estuarine ecological surveys are a key service provided by ECOFACT. These surveys are undertaken for a number of purposes, including informing the Environmental Impact Assessments and Article 6 Appropriate Assessments of proposed developments affecting the marine / estuarine environment. These surveys are also to monitor the impact of industrial and municipal discharges and aquaculture […]

    Continue Reading
  • Freshwater Pearl Mussel surveys

    The Freshwater Pearl Mussel Margaritifera margaritifera is a (freshwater) bivalve listed under Annex II and V of the EU Habitats Directive. It is legally protected in Ireland under Schedule 1 of the Wildlife Act (1976 (Protection of Wild Animals) (Statutory Instrument No. 112, 1990) and the European Communities (Natural Habitats) Regulations (Statutory Instrument No. 94, 1997). Owing […]

    Continue Reading

Photo Gallery

View More >>

Site Search