The project is taking place in the West and North-West of Ireland focussing on nine SPAs (eight project sites spanning over 4 300 hectares) and will target the Annex I species Corncrake (Crex Crex). The most recent assessment of Corncrakes in Ireland notes an 85% decrease in population since 1978 and a 92% decrease in range. The major causes of the dramatic deterioration in conservation condition since the 1970s are the move from haymaking to silage, the homogenisation of agricultural enterprises, increased fertiliser applications, reseeding of semi-natural grasslands, the use of larger, more efficient machinery, and increased exposure to predation. There is an urgent need to reverse this decline by improving the efficacy of a variety of conservation measures to enhance the status of the Corncrake.
The overall objective of the project is to improve the conservation status in Ireland of the Corncrake by the enhancement of the SPA network and surrounding farmland. The specific objectives are to:
LIFE Atlantic Crex will contribute to the implementation of the EU policy and legislation in the area of nature and biodiversity. It will also support the Natura 2000 network by developing integrated approaches to implement the Prioritised Action Framework for Ireland.