RaptorLIFE visited Ballydangan Bog Project to view first hand the excellent work being carried out on their project. Ballydangan is a 240 ha of restored high bog in County Roscommon, with three other bogs being managed too. The project aims to reverse the decline of red grouse in This is achieved through a range of best-practice red grouse conservation strategies including heather management, predator control, monitoring, disturbance control, public awareness and education. Moore Gun Club and Roscommon Regional Game Council have been influential in involving a range of stakeholders: local employment through FAS and Moore Community Council, Bord na Móna, the NPWS, the NARGC Habitat Trust, the Heritage Council and NUI Galway. Such alliances have recently led to the initiation of a number of new red grouse projects throughout Ireland. Equally the bog restoration has importantly increased the numbers of breeding pairs of the red listed Curlew.
Their habitat management includes the balancing of cutting/burning heather to leave a mosiac of different ages to allow cover, shelter, nesting and feeding for the Red Grouse. Predation during the nesting season is a major cause of mortality for the Red Grouse and through their predator control they should see increases in Red Gouse productivity.
Many thanks to Pat Feehily/Ryan Nixon of Ballydangan Bog Project, Mark Craven of NPWS and David Fallon of Bord na Mona for a great visit to project. Great to see how stakeholders working together achieve this success.