Camera Trapping for Otters

Selected papers

Notes on trailcam setup and placement

Otter eye level is 25-30cm Keep camera  height as standard as possible, e.g. 50cm with a slight angle down but the same 50% sky 50% ground on the screen

Two camera trap sites cannot be closer than 500m or further than 5000m from the next site

Camera trap is set to photo mode only with 3 photos per trigger.

Camera trap time is set to local summer time, with daylight savings settings off.

The SD card and internal photo-stamp of the camera trap are the same number.

The camera trap is placed inside the grid cell, at an appropriate location, unbaited

The camera trap should optimally face north (+/- 15 degrees)

The camera trap test function should detect movement at a distance of 8m.

There should be no large obstructions or blind spots in front of the camera trap

Citizen science project: mapping and monitoring forests managed for conservation/biodiversity

Aim to assess natural regeneration of conifers from commercial plantations into open areas (especially into Natura sites / Annex I habitats)

  • how far the trees have spread into the BioClass area
  • number of trees (or estimates)
  • maximum height (giving an indication as to how long they have remained unmanaged)
  • general condition of habitat
  • GPS points with data on Date, Species, Height (Categories), Seed Bearing, etc (data input in QField and then added to a main dataset)

Example: WW07 Clohernagh

Aerial image suggests some colonisation of open habitat by trees

Example: Carrigshouk

This area west of Carrigshouk, off the Military Road, has a BioClass rating

In Wicklow Mountains SPA, partially within the SAC. Failed Sitka Spruce plantation from 1986

BioClass data records site as undeveloped land & wet heath – it was before 1986

How to submit an AIE for water testing data on your local river

When making a request for information under the Access to Information on the Environment Regulations you are required to:

  • state that the application is being made under the AIE Regulations and submit it in writing or electronic form
  • provide your contact details
  • state, in terms that are as specific as possible, the environmental information required, and specify the form and manner of access desired

Normally you will be notified of the decision on your request within 1 month of its receipt.


“Under the AIE Regs to request details of water testing on the Gweebarra River between X Bridge & Y Bridge for 2020 to 2022”

Submit to AND to the relevant local authority AIE officer

You can ask for the data outside of AIE, here’s a contact list for the Local Authorities. But if you don’t get a response you have no right to review and/or appeal to OIC

The reception team at ERA on are very helpful, and will always find you the correct person to ask, so I always recommend asking first (outside of the AIE process)

Small Streams Characterisation System (SSCS) Course

The course is designed to train those who are interested in small streams on how best to monitor and characterise these small water bodies.

The rationale behind the course is outlined below:

  • The course is based on a simple premise: that obtaining high-quality information on the condition of our small streams is key for catchment and fishery managers to put in place plans to protect the high quality water-courses and improve the problematic areas.
  • This citizen science based training programme covers the collection of data on fauna, flora and hydromorphology (the physical structure of the stream channel). It provides volunteers with the required skills and training to walk and monitor the small streams in their particular location, both small mountain streams and discrete coastal streams.
  • The objective of the assessment is not to intentionally seek out pollution points but to objectively assess the current status of small streams. In many ways identifying and highlighting the presence of pristine streams that have been little impacted by agricultural or forestry practices, is as important as identifying problems in damaged or degraded streams.
  • The Institute of Fisheries Management has accredited the course and will issue a Certificate of Achievement to those who successfully complete the SSCS course.

The SSCS courses are run at various times in different areas of the country. There is no one calendar of courses. Best option is to email Ken Whelan for details of what’s on and when

The Atlantic Salmon Trust, Small Streams Characterisation System – Two Days

Small Streams Characterisation System (SSCS) Course

Citizen science in freshwater rivers

To develop a consensus on the most suitable approach for citizen science in Ireland, LAWPRO supported by the EPA, have engaged with the practitioners, agencies, trainers and community groups interested in citizen science.

A series of workshops and training days to develop a strategy was organised. This led to the development of a brand new scheme – a Citizen Science Stream Index (CSSI) suitable for beginners and the adoption of the Small Stream Impact Score (SSIS) used by scientists for the more advanced practitioners.

  • The schemes are being trialled with the support of locally led catchment projects (e.g., Norevision, Maigue RT, Inishownen RT, Farming for the Blue Dot EIP)
  • Currently being rolled out across LEADER areas via bespoke Water Training developed by LAWPRO and the Rural Development Companies (inc. IRD Duhallow)
  • The National Biodiversity Data Centre are currently developing the online repository.
  • Animation for the 3rd RBMP cycle is currently undergoing planning

This initiative is supported through LAWPRO and the EPA, with support from UCD (Dr. Mary Kelly Quinn), UCC (Dr. Simon Harrison) and numerous other collaborators.

If you would like to get involved please contact

Anglers in border region scale up lake monitoring

Dragonfly Ireland 2019 – 2024

Survey / Citizen Science

Dragonfly Ireland 2019 – 2024 is an all-Ireland survey of dragonflies and damselflies, and their habitats.

The survey is coordinated by the National Biodiversity Data Centre in the Republic of Ireland and by the Centre for Environmental Data and Recording in Northern Ireland.

Dragonfly Ireland 2019-2024 is funded by the Environmental Protection Agency as part of a citizen science project focusing on aquatic species and their potential as bioindicators. The goals of Dragonfly Ireland include:

  • Collecting verified dragonfly and damselfly records, contributing to a 2024 Dragonfly Atlas.
  • Exploring the use of dragonflies and damselflies as bio-indicators of freshwater habitat quality.
  • Engaging with the public to increase awareness of water quality and climate change.
  • Developing and supporting a network of trained and experienced dragonfly recorders in Ireland.

Dragonfly Ireland will also generate important information on some of Ireland’s small water bodies. Despite the widespread nature of small water bodies in the Irish landscape, they are a poorly understood habitat, and little is known about their ecological value. Collecting data on habitats and the associated dragonfly and damselfly fauna will help to fill this knowledge gap.

The project offers three levels of participation to volunteers:

  • Dragonfly Spotter encourages the submission of casual sightings of any Dragonfly or Damselfly species.
  • Dragonfly Recorder asks volunteers to conduct timed surveys of a freshwater site, record all dragonfly and damselfly species present, estimate their numbers, and assess their habitat. Two surveys must be completed, one in May/June and the second between July and September.
  • Dragonfly Monitor asks volunteers to conduct a minimum of four surveys at their local site, and to repeat site surveys annually.

Learn more: 

If you would like to participate in Dragonfly Ireland 2019 – 2024 further information is available at:

Sightings of Dragonflies and Damselflies in Northern Ireland can be
submitted at: