In 2010, as part of the initiative to review the State of Knowledge on Ireland’s Biological Diversity the National Biodiversity Data Centre produced an inventory of sources of biodiversity data. The inventory was developed by inviting recognised national experts to identify the state of knowledge.
Number of marine mammal species
26 cetacean species and several seal species have been recorded in Ireland. Eurasian Otter also inhabits coastal and estuarine habitats and may do so exclusively.
Primary sources of distribution data
- Irish Whale and Dolphin Group: cetaceans
- European Seabirds at Sea (maintained by the Joint Nature Conservation Committee): seal and cetacean databases. ESAS cetacean sightings 1980-2003* are available through Biodiversity Maps.
- The Coastal and Marine Resources Centre, Cork: seal and cetacean databases
- National Parks and Wildlife Service: seal data*
- Grey Seal (Halichoerus grypus) Distribution 2009-2014* (Michelle Cronin)
- SCANS II Survey Data (2005)* Sea Mammal Research Unit, University of St Andrews.
An All-Ireland Marine Mammals Database is compiled and managed by the National Biodiversity Data Centre and will be made accessible through Biodiversity Maps.
*Databases held by the National Biodiversity Data Centre and made accessible through Biodiversity Maps
National conservation assessment
- Article 17 reporting – all 26 species listed in EU Habitats Directive: National Parks and Wildlife Service, 2019. The status of EU Protected Habitats and Species in Ireland. NPWS, Department of the Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Dublin.
Monitoring or repeat surveys in place
- Land-based effort monitoring (IWDG)
- Seal haul-out counts (NPWS rangers)
- Ferry based cetacean surveys (IWDG)
- Ship-based cetacean surveys (NPWS/Marine Institute)