From 2014 to 2016, Bat Surveys, Habitat Surveys, Bryophyte Surveys and Mammal Surveys were undertaken on UCC Main Campus, Distillery Fields, Western Campus, ERI, Mardyke, and Curaheen sites. A total of twenty-two habitats were recorded, some of which were assessed as having negligible importance for biodiversity, while others were assessed as being of moderate-high importance for local biodiversity. A section of Riparian Woodland, which is Annex I habitat under the EU Habitats Directive was found at the ERI.
A total of 86 bryophyte species were recorded during bryophyte surveys of UCC Main Campus, North Mall Campus and Mardyke Sports Grounds, including an assemblage of County Importance on an exposed calcareous rock face on Main Campus. In addition a liverwort species recorded on the same calcareous rock face was recorded as new to the Mid Cork Vice County and a moss species recorded on a stone wall on the boundary of the Mardyke Sports Grounds was also a first for Mid Cork. A Biodiversity Action Plan is in the process of being prepared, to guide management of all sites over the coming years.
UCC Main Campus Habitat Map
Environmental Research Institute Habitat Map
Distillery Fields Habitat Map
UCC and the River Lee
UCC campus overlooks both the north and south channels of the River Lee. This brings an enormous amount of diversity in flora and fauna to the campus. Signs of otters are a regular feature of the river banks, herons are ubiquitous and kingfishers have been spotted feeding in the water from time to time. At night, bats emerge from crevices and roosts to feed along the river.
The north and south channels of the River Lee are home to 11 individual otters, identified through tracks and spraints along the banks of the river. UCC’s School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Science, and Cork Nature Network are among the groups that survey and study the behaviour of these elusive mammals.
(Video courtesy of Brian Bulger, Audio Visual Unit, UCC)