Horton M.,Ballinderry Rivers Trust |
Keys A.,Ballinderry Rivers Trust |
Kirkwood L.,Ballinderry Rivers Trust |
Mitchell F.,Ballinderry Rivers Trust |
And 2 more authors.
Limnologica | Year: 2015
The Ballinderry River, Co. Tyrone (SAC), is one of only six rivers in Northern Ireland that still supports a population of the globally endangered freshwater pearl mussel, Margaritifera margaritifera. Fewer than 1000 individuals still exist in the river; without intervention it is predicted the Ballinderry pearl mussel will be extinct by 2098. This paper aims to identify key catchment pressures on remaining mussel stocks and prioritise tributaries within the catchment for remediation work to ensure effective targeting of limited resources. A combination of redox assessment, river surveys and SCIMAP modelling was used to rank tributaries, taking into consideration their size and proximity to the main mussel population at the "sanctuary site". Diffuse and point sources of sediment were identified within the prioritised catchment. The Tulnacross tributary was selected as the highest priority tributary and has been used in a pilot remediation study. A number of different hard and soft engineering techniques have been used for remediation as well as replacing cattle drinkers with pasture pumps and fencing alongside the river. Initial observations suggest river substrate is cleaner. This study is an example of how to tackle problems within a large-scale catchment with limited resources with participation of local stakeholders and riparian landowners. © 2014 Elsevier GmbH.