Paris Island Big ASSI

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

This area is of special scientific interest because of its heronry. Paris Island Big is a steep-sided, wooded drumlin island in Lower Lough Erne. The topography of the island made it less suitable for agriculture than many of its neighbours, hence its present woodland cover.

Paris Island Big has, in the recent past, been a highly significant locality for breeding grey herons in a Northern Ireland context. At least 86 pairs of herons were present on the site in 2006, representing more than 2% of the estimated all-Ireland population.  The island therefore continues to be one of the most important heronries in the Northern Ireland.

The vegetation on the island is dominated by semi-natural deciduous woodland, with the summit supporting a grove of exotic conifers. The deciduous element of the woodland is dominated by Sessile oak and also includes significant amounts of sycamore, holly, birch and ash. 
Mature trees within both woodland types provide suitable nest sites for herons.

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