Around October Ireland’s deer species begin to enter their breeding season. The red deer, our native deer species, are currently carrying impressive antlers in peak condition which they will use for sparring with their rivals. The males have also begun to roar challenges to each other; these mating calls can be heard in areas with deer populations. Ireland’s native herds of red deer are best seen in Killarney national park in Kerry. Introduced herds can be found in counties Donegal, Galway, Mayo and Wicklow. Phoenix Park in Dublin is another recommended spot to whiteness the deer rut of the fallow deer. This is a spectacular sight (and sound) but please remember to enjoy it from afar, as the males are very alert to any perceived threat to the females.
One cannot observe nature at this time of year without admiring the autumn colours. Did you ever wonder what cause this rush of colour? Many types of tree lose their leaves in order to survive harsh weather conditions. In temperate climates such as Ireland this means leaf loss in autumn. Broad leaves are easily damaged by frost and wind and shedding these leaves helps trees preserve water and energy. As unfavourable weather approaches hormones in the tree trigger the leaves to be cut off at the base of the stem and fall. Before this happens the tree reabsorbs nutrients from the leaves so as not to waste them. Chlorophyll, responsible for giving a leaf its green colour, is one of the first molecules to be broken down. As the green chlorophyll is reabsorbed the red and yellow colours of the other molecules in the leaves become apparent resulting in the beautiful rust and gold colours seen in autumn leaves.
Spider Breeding Season
Sightings of Ireland’s various spider species can be more common in October. Many species leave their webs in search of mates at this time of year, and others may be flooded out of their webs and forced indoors by increasingly severe weather. This can be a little shocking for some as large species, such as the Giant House spider and Cardinal spider, are capable of sprinting between points of cover while others, such as the Zebra Jumping spider, move suddenly and can jump a surprising distance. So keep your eyes open for these interesting arachnids and remember they are just trying to make it through the dark Irish winter too.
An Overview of Dublin City’s Biodiversity
Biodiversity is the variability amongst living organisms from all sources which includes diversity within and between different species, and ecosystems. Dublin City’s biodiversity consists of the wildlife and habitats located at North Bull Island, and also along the city’s coastline. Dublin biodiversity further includes Phoenix Park, rivers, canals and their riparian zones. Dublin supports à lot of legally-protected habitats along its coastline.
Invasive species of diverse living organisms, climate change issues such as global warming, the loss of habitats, environmental pollution, and anthropogenic activities, all collude to threaten Dublin’s biodiversity. Preserving Dublin’s biodiversity would require a combination of various approaches such as direct and appropriate management of the city’s biodiversity at both local and regional levels, as well as being able to identify and protect conservation high value areas in the city. This methods would also require going ‘green’, and stimulating awareness amongst the citizenry as regards their orientation towards biodiversity.
Dublin has over 750 public parks and green spaces, covering an estimated 1400 hectares of land. Private gardens make up one-quarter of the city’s land mass. Due to its propensity for harbouring invasive species as a result of too many pathways that lead into the city, the Dublin City Council is saddled with the responsibility of monitoring and controlling the influx of invasive alien species of living organisms. The National Biodiversity Data Centre (NBDC), is the national organization in charge of collating, managing, analyzing, and disseminating data on Ireland’s biodiversity.
In line with the outcome of UNESCO’s review of the Dublin Bay Biosphere sometime between 2012 and 2014, the Dublin Bay Biosphere Partnership has been established for the management of the Dublin Bay Biosphere Reserve. The Partnership/MOU consists of Dublin City Council, Fingal County Council, Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council, Dublin Port Company, and the National Parks and Wildlife Service.
In all, the Dublin City Biodiversity Action Plan is not just restricted to the preservation of biodiversity in Dublin City alone. It is actually part of a grand objective to conserve the global biodiversity.