Dalkey Island Conservation Plan - Update

Dalkey Island is designated as a Special Protection Area, (SPA), for breeding populations of three seabird species: Common, Arctic and Roseate Terns. In 2017, it was estimated that 113 Arctic and 15 Common Tern breeding pairs were nesting on the island, the highest count on record for Dalkey to date. However, a combination of depredation and storm surges resulted in a low level of breeding success on the island, with only four chicks assumed to have survived to fledging. 

Brown Rat, Dalkey Island 

Camera trap footage taken this year, and trail signs such as footprints, droppings and burrows have confirmed the presence of a ‘healthy’ population of brown rats on Dalkey Island. This species has been found to have a devastating impact on ground-nesting birds such as terns, as they predate upon eggs and chicks.  

In order to improve the conservation status of terns, rat control operations are currently in progress and are expected to run from April to May 2018. Yellow pipes have been laid at intervals across the island and contain rat bait (poison). These should not be handled or tampered with in any way. We thank you for your cooperation.

For any further information on this project please contact:

Tara Adcock, Seabird Conservation Assistant, BirdWatch Ireland at or the Dun Laoighaire Rathdown County Council Biodiversity Officer, County Hall, Dun Laoighaire.

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