Northern Ireland news

More than 110 species added to priority list in Northern Ireland

The red squirrel is one of almost 600 species on the priority list. Picture by Liam McBurney/PA Wire

MORE than 110 species have been added to a priority list in Northern Ireland.

The list covers species that need conservation because they are in decline, rare or of particular importance to the UK or Ireland.

The 113 species have been added to the list, bringing the number to 594.

Among those added is the bog orchid, the kingfisher, Atlantic bluefin tuna and four types of bee.

The last list, which came out in 2010, featured 481 species.

Published by the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs, experts and organisations are consulted to help inform reviewers about which species should be included.

They are then selected on the basis of the need for "conservation action as a priority due to the degree of their decline, rarity and importance in an all-Ireland and UK context".

Dr Annika Clements, Ulster Wildlife's director of nature, climate and environment, one of the organisation's which advised on the list, said: "We welcome the addition in particular of these marine species that are known to be of significant conservation concern and need action within Northern Ireland."

Dr Clements said the addition of certain types of seaweed and algae were positive from the point of view of carbon being captured in seawater and coastal ecosystems, so potentially helping to reduce emissions.


The kingfisher is now on the priority species list



Northern Ireland news