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Research Call

DAFM Reference

Lead(Collaborating)Institution

DAFM Award

DAFM National Call 2013 13/C/474 NUIG €139,724

Project Title:

Impacts of forest clearing on Kerry Slug (Geomalacus maculosus) populations with the development of mitigation measures based on preferred diet of species

Project Coordinator:

Dr. Mike Gormally

Project Abstract

The Kerry Slug is listed as a protected species in the EU Habitats Directive and by the Wildlife Act 1976. Due to its protected status, its presence in commercial conifer plantations can impact forestry operations because of a gap in the knowledge regarding the impacts of clear-felling on the species. This project is using (for the first time) mark-recapture methods to quantify Kerry Slug populations in mature commercial conifer plantations scheduled for clear-felling. In addition, Kerry Slug population sizes are being estimated concurrently in adjacent conifer and blanket bog sites which act as controls in this investigation. This allows the investigators to separate the effects of other environmental factors such as weather from possible clear-felling impacts on the species. Food preference trials are also being analysed using animal behaviour software to determine the plant species most preferred by the slug. The results of these experiments can then be used by the forestry sector for determining the most appropriate forest areas for retention based on food plant availability. The project outcomes will form the basis for Advice Notes to relevant stakeholders on the management of forests where the Kerry Slug is found.

Final Report:

Final Report (pdf 391Kb)