Amphibians, Reptiles & Aquatics

The Smooth newt (Lissotriton vulgaris) and Common frog (Rana temporaria) are two of the common amphibian species found in Glenveagh. While the Common lizard (Lacerta vivipara), Ireland’s only native reptile, can also be found within the National Park.

The freshwater pearl mussel (Margaritifera margaritifera) is a large filter-feeding bivalve, which is found in near-pristine freshwater habitats. A listed species under Annex II and V of the EU Habitats Directive, they are extremely long lived and are capable of surviving for up to 140 years, making them Ireland’s longest living animal. Significant numbers of freshwater pearl mussel have been recorded in the Glaskeelan and Owencarrow rivers within the national park. While substantial numbers have also been recorded in the Leannan River, whose upper catchment area falls within the boundaries of Glenveagh.

Most of the park’s lakes hold brown trout (Salmo trutta subsp. fario), salmonoid fish and eels. Lough Veagh has modest runs of salmon (Salmo salar) and sea trout (Salmo trutta subsp. trutta) as well as stocks of arctic charr (Salvelinus alpinus). Like the salmon the charr is seagoing in arctic and sub-arctic regions, but in Western Europe it is confined to freshwater lakes where it has remained since the ice age. The ‘land-locked’ charr require cold and unpolluted water and, with such a commodity now scarce in Western Europe, it has become seriously endangered. Charr populations isolated in different lakes over the past 10, 000 years have evolved slight differences. Recent findings suggest that Glenveagh charr are significantly smaller than those in nearby Dunlewy Lake.

 

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