Comprehensive bird survey of Shannon Estuary

Comprehensive bird survey of Shannon Estuary


Sunset on the Shannon Estuary – Photo: © Pat Flynn 2017

The most comprehensive bird population and habitat survey ever undertaken on the Shannon Estuary has been announced. 

The year-long study is being undertaken by McCarthy Keville O’Sullivan on behalf of the Shannon Estuary Strategic Infrastructure Framework Plan (SIFP) Steering Group, comprising stakeholders engaged in the development and management of Ireland’s largest and deepest estuary.

The region’s local authorities, namely Clare County Council, Kerry County Council and Limerick City & County Council, have joined with Shannon Group and Shannon Foynes Port Company in promoting ‘Deep Water Marine Investment Opportunities’ on 1,220 hectares of land at 6 Strategic Development Locations deemed appropriate for marine-related investment.

The sites, which are zoned for marine-related industry in Regional and Local statutory development plans, include  Moneypoint (280Ha), Innismurry/Cahericon (65Ha) in Clare, Askeaton (98Ha), Foynes Island (40Ha), and Foynes Port and adjoining lands (186Ha) in Limerick, and Tarbert – Ballylongford Landbank (550Ha) in Kerry.

The bird population and habitat survey will be the most comprehensive undertaken – Photo: © Pat Flynn 2017

The proposed bird usage survey area stretches from Limerick City to where the Shannon Estuary meets the Atlantic Ocean in West Clare and North Kerry. The survey begins during May and is being carried out in accordance with the EU Birds Directive which dictates that an assessment of any such development requires that the most up-to-date comprehensive geospatial data on bird populations is available.

The Shannon Estuary features 500km2 of navigable water running from Kerry Head and Loop Head as far as Limerick City, a distance of 100km. The Estuary is Ireland’s premier deepwater port routinely catering for ships up to 200,000 deadweight tonnage (dwt) with key ports at Limerick and Foynes and direct connectivity to all major international shipping lanes. It is home to a number of large industries and employers, including ESB Moneypoint, Aughinish Alumina, Tarbert Power Station, Shannon International Airport and NORA Fuel Reserve.

Please see for relevant contact details.