Election candidate warns invasive species will cause Limerick wetlands to 'waste away'

Rory O'Connor

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Rory O'Connor

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rory.oconnor@limerickleader.ie

Election candidate warns invasive species will cause Limerick wetlands to 'waste away'

Green Party local election candidate says invasive species are putting the Westfield wetlands at risk

INVASIVE species are putting the Westfield wetlands at risk, the Green Party candidate for the North City electoral district, Brian Leddin has warned.

“The Westfields Wetlands are part of the Lower Shannon Special Area of Conservation and are a highly significant site in Limerick City for wildlife. It’s not unusual to find up to 50 species of birds in the area,” noted Mr Leddin

“I grew up near the wetlands, and they are a precious environmental resource for our city. The alien invasive plants Japanese knotweed and winter heliotrope are growing near the lake and out-competing native plant species. The Council’s removal of poplar trees next to the Condell road last March has contributed to the spread of invasive species,” Mr Leddin continued.

According to Mr Leddin, the open water on the lake at the Westfields site is reducing every year because of the encroaching reeds.

“While to some extent this is a natural process it may be increasing due to the presence of the alien invasive zebra mussel,” said Mr Leddin.

According to the Irish wetland bird survey data, over the last five years the total numbers of wetland birds in Ireland have declined by 15.5%.

It is vital to everything possible to preserve Westfields for wildlife and as a local amenity and wildlife sanctuary,” he added.