Coillte, Dublin Road, Newtownmountkennedy, Co. Wicklow | Tel: 01- 201 1111 | Email: email@example.com
SAC No. 006 Total area of the SAC = 191 ha, Project site area = 34.2 ha
The site is also a proposed Natural Heritage Area – Killyconny Bog (Site Code 281).
Killyconny bog is a medium-sized raised bog located along the southern border of Co. Cavan. The site comprises a core of uncut high bog occurring as two distinct lobes, joined by a narrow strip of bog. This intact area is surrounded by cutover raised bog surfaces, much of which has been abandoned recently. The uncut high bog dome covers an area of approximately 85 hectares (Derwin et al., 2002) and contains a well developed raised bog flora. Common plant species of the intact bog surface include ling (Calluna vulgaris), cross-leaved heath (Erica tetralix), bog asphodel (Narthecium ossifragum), deer grass (Trichophorum cespitosum), hare’s tail cottongrass (Eriophorum vaginatum) and common cottongrass (Eriophorum angustifolium). The cover of Sphagnum moss is locally high and includes species such as Sphagnum capillifolium, S. papillosum and S. magellanicum. In the central areas of the site there are a number of discrete wet areas which support active raised bog. Such areas also support occasional pool systems which contain species such as Sphagnum cuspidatum, Eriophorum angustifolium and white-beaked sedge (Rhynchospora alba).
An area of coniferous forestry - c. 11 hectares in size - was planted along the north-western margins of the high bog surface in the late 1970’s. These conifers have now grown to a general height of between 6 and 8 metres and are contributing to the drying-out of the adjacent intact bog to the south.
Importance of the site for the conservation of the species/habitat types targeted at regional, national and EU level (give quantifiable information wherever possible):
Killyconny bog is a good example of a raised bog habitat which supports significant areas of the Annex 1 habitats Active raised bog, Degraded raised bog (capable of regeneration) and Vegetation of depressions (Rhynchosporion). The habitat assessment presented in the Natura 2000 form gives a global rating of B (good value) for active raised bog habitat at this site. Raised bog habitats are now very rare in Europe and it has recently been estimated that the Republic of Ireland contains 50% of the relatively intact oceanic raised bog systems in Europe (O’ Connell, 1998).
Though the site is rather small in terms of Irish raised bog systems this bog is especially important from a biogeographical point of view as it is the most north-easterly example of a relatively intact raised bog system in the Republic of Ireland. Areas of relatively intact raised bog were previously common in the north-east of the country however almost all of these have been lost to peat cutting over the last few centuries (Cross, 1990).