Nature Conservation Areas
Ireland is home to 28 land mammal species, over 400 bird species, more than 4,000 plant species and over 12,000 insect species and Ireland is obliged by EU and National law to conserve species in their natural habitats. Key strategy to meeting this requirement is to ensure the adequate conservation of habitats, through designation of conservation areas, where many of our plants and animals live. There are 3 main categories of conservation area: Special Areas of Conservation (SAC), Special Protection Areas (SPA) and Natural Heritage Areas (NHA).
The National Parks & Wildlife Service (NPWS) of the Department is responsible for the designation of conservation sites in Ireland and works with farmers, other landowners, and national and local authorities, to achieve the best balance between farming and other land-use on the one hand, and meeting the requirement to conserve nature in these selected areas, on the other.
Further information is available on www.npws.ie.