Complex of Northern Ireland lakes for Ramsar List
The Secretariat is pleased to announce that the government of the United Kingdom has designated its 166th Wetland of International Importance. Magheraveely Marl Loughs (59 hectares, 54°11'N 007°16'W) is a complex of six loughs in Northern Ireland, of which three are intersected by the border with the Republic of Ireland - they represent the best remaining examples of a relatively rare lake type in Northern Ireland characterised by the presence of calcium carbonate deposits, or marl, which, precipitated out of the calcium-rich water, produces marl loughs. Biological interest is related to the presence of vegetation which reflects these calcareous conditions, including rich and extensive stonewort (charophyte) communities. The loughs are surrounded by an inundation zone containing significant stands of alkaline fen vegetation. The clean unpolluted waters of the loughs support populations of White-clawed crayfish Austropotamobius pallipes, a species which is becoming increasingly rare throughout its geographical range.
The UK presently has 166 Ramsar sites, covering 917,988 hectares, and the global number of sites in the 156 Contracting Parties is presently 1,677, totaling 150,273,592 hectares. [24/10/07]