NATURE: Fota Wildlife Park holds free talks on native Irish ladybirds in Midleton, Fermoy, and Fota itself

12 July 2017
By David O’Sullivan
david@TheCork.ie

 

Fota Wildlife Park are delighted to present a series of talks on ladybirds in Ireland. They are working with University College Cork on a citizen science project to map out the location of ladybirds in Ireland. The All Ireland Ladybird Survey is an online research project funded by the Irish Research Council and Fota Wildlife Park and managed by Fota Wildlife Park and University College Cork on the status, threats, protection and conservation of ladybirds in Ireland. It is a citizen science project which means that the public is needed to get involved and populate the survey between the months of April to October.

Gill Weyman, research scholar said “Records of ladybirds are low in Ireland and it is important that we put ladybirds on the map. They play such an important role in our environment – it’s important to understand where they are located and what they feed on. The Harlequin, which originates in Asia, is an invasive ladybird species in Ireland which preys on the larvae of native ladybirds and competes with them for food. It is now established in Cork City, but we need to know from this survey how far across the country it has spread.”

If you are in your garden, going for a walk or at work and you see a ladybird:

  • Leave it on the plant/place that you found it.
  • Take a photo.
  • Make a note of where it is, date, time, description.
  • Go to the biology.ie webpage and record your sightings.
  • Photographs are very important as they help to verify records.

If you are unsure about anything, help is at hand on www.biology.ie where there are identification guides and further information on ladybirds.

Free talks given by Gill Weyman, research scholar will be offered on the Harlequin ladybird and native ladybirds throughout Cork in July. These will be held at:

  • Saturday 15th July, 11am, Education Centre at Fota Wildlife Park, Carrigtwohill, Co. Cork.
  • Saturday 22nd July, 11am, Midleton Library, Co Cork
  • Saturday 22nd July, 2pm, Fermoy Library, Co Cork

To register for one of the talks please email ladybird@fotawildlife.ie

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