The KerryLIFE project
KerryLIFE is a demonstration project in the Caragh and Blackwater river catchments in South Kerry over a 5½ year period from 2014 to 2019 to restore the two internationally important freshwater pearl mussel populations.
The catchments are important for a number of habitats and species, including the endangered freshwater pearl mussel (Margaritifera margaritifera). The conservation status of this species has, over the years, declined due to land mismanagement, with diffuse sediment and nutrient losses being the main causes. There is an urgent need to reverse this decline and improve the conservation condition of freshwater pearl mussels in these rivers.
The project seeks to develop and demonstrate sustainable land use management techniques and practices for local farmers and forest-owners in freshwater pearl mussel catchments. KerryLIFE will work closely with key stakeholders
KerryLIFE will focus on supporting sustainable farming and forestry activities within the two river catchments. Engagement with the farmers and forest-owners will allow local knowledge and experience to be harnessed and can be brought together the scientific expertise of the various project partners to overcome some of the challenges faced by farmers and forest-owners in freshwater pearl mussel catchments.