Red Grouse is one of Ireland’s threatened species, having experienced a 50% decline in national distribution between the early 1970s and 2008. Red Grouse are now confined to upland blanket bogs and heaths, and on some raised bogs in the Midlands. The new survey seeks to established the current distribution and population of this Red Listed species to assist the identification of conservation priorities.

Key populations of Red Grouse are known to occur in the Wicklow and Dublin Mountains, the Slieve Bloom Mountains in County Laois, the Knockmealdown Mountains in counties Tipperary and Waterford, the Nephin Mountains in County Mayo and the Blue Stack Mountains in County Donegal. Recent sightings submitted to Ireland’s Citizen Science Portal show that small populations also occur in other peatland sites.

The aim of this survey is to help determine the current distribution of Red Grouse in Ireland and to help detect any changes in their distribution since the last national survey of 2006-2008. Observation from recorders will contribute valuable data to the wider national survey funded by the National Parks & Wildlife Service and coordinated by KRC Ecological Ltd. This larger survey aims to estimate the overall abundance of the national population and to detect any changes in abundance and distribution since the last national survey of 2006-2008.

The survey runs from 1st December 2021 and continues until 31st March 2022.

For more information see:

Image: Male Red Grouse (Lagopus lagopus) [Photograph: Graham Braid]