Hare Island ASSI

Protected area type: Areas of Special Scientific Interest
Feature type: 
  • Habitat
  • Species
  • Fermanagh
Council: Fermanagh and Omagh
Guidance and literature: Hare Island ASSI

This area is of special scientific interest because of its breeding waders and species-rich wet grassland.

Hare Island is a lightly grazed drumlin island in Lower Lough Erne. The island has a central ridge sloping down to the lough shore. The combination of topography and the related soil hydrology has resulted in a range of species-rich wet grasslands on the island. These vary from rush pasture to fen meadow, with base-loving plants present throughout the area.

The island is one of the most important sites for breeding waders in Northern Ireland. This includes redshank, snipe, lapwing and curlew.The density of nests, at over 2 per hectare, is amongst the highest recorded in Northern Ireland.

The vegetation on the island is dominated by sharp-flowered rush, with a variety of grasses and sedges and in places is markedly species rich. This provides cover for nests and young birds. Other important factors for breeding birds are the heavy nature of the soils which remain wet even in summer and the adjoining lough shoreline, which provide an abundance of food for adults and young birds. The island is also relatively free from disturbance and predation.

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