Kildare Wildlife Watch: Get involved in this year’s Flower and Insect Count from your own garden

Wildlife Watch with the Bog of Allen Nature Centre

Nuala Madigan of the Irish Peatland Conservation Council

Reporter:

Nuala Madigan of the Irish Peatland Conservation Council

Email:

bogs@ipcc.ie

Kildare Wildlife Watch: Get involved in this year’s Flower and Insect Count from your own garden

Did you know our National Biodiversity Data Centre is looking for our help to better understand the populations of pollinators in Ireland?

The best thing about this survey it is designed for our back gardens, perfect as we self isolate at home!

The survey is called the Flower and Insect Count. Pollinators are any animal that move between the flowers of plants spreading pollen which enables the flower to reproduce allowing the fruits and seeds emerge, and thus producing food for us. Typical pollinators include bumblebees, butterflies, wasps, moths, beetles and hoverflies, to name a few.

Ireland is aware that are pollinator populations are under pressure. It is believed that pollinators such as the population of bees is in decline year on year in this country. Why?

Our use of pesticides, climate change, disease, habitat loss and food sources are all factors that are affecting this ,decline.

Not a weed!

For example, you may be aware that within our garden lawns and green community spaces we are encouraged to allow dandelions to flower in early spring. For many years in the past we have seen dandelions as a weed rather than a wildflower that provides an important service to our community — and unfortunately that attitude persists today.

Dandelions are one of the first spring flowers to emerge and as many of our pollinators wake from their winter slumber they seek a food source. Dandelions offer this early meal. Later in the spring and early summer, more flowers emerge, offering a diversity of food sources.

This year’s Flower and Insect count in your garden only asks that you take a 50cmx50cm area, and once a week for 10 minutes you watch, count and record pollinators visiting your garden.

If you would like to get involved and take part in the Flower and Insect Count in 2020, visit www.pollinators.ie/ record-pollinators/fit-count/ where you will find all the information you need to get started from useful identification charts, recording sheets and a step by step guide of what you need to do.

If you would like help identifying or to learn more about a wildlife species contact me at the Bog of Allen Nature Centre on 045-860133 or bogs@ipcc.ie.