Inishbofin is a special place, designated a Special Area of Conservation and a Special Protection Area, as it is one of the few places in Ireland where the distinctive call of the endangered corncrake can still be heard. The island has a diverse mixture of habitats from pristine beaches, sand dunes and rugged cliffs to bogs and hay meadows, as well as archaeological sites dating back to the Neolithic age.
Traditional low impact farming methods have allowed nature and farming to exist side by side, resulting in a rich biodiversity of plants and wildlife.
In 2016 the community demonstrated its commitment to a sustainable future for the island by developing a Community Nature Plan with Biodiversity Galway, and undertaking training in Leave No Trace, an outdoor ethics code of conduct.
In 2016 EcoTourism Ireland certified 5 businesses on the island for their sustainable tourism experiences.
Inishbofin is the country’s first Leave No Trace island and the republic of Ireland’s first Fair Trade island.
Inishbofin is a Special Area of Conservation(SAC 00278) www.npws.ie/protected-sites/sac/000278 selected for the following habitats/species listed under Annex 1/11 of the EU Habitats directive:
Coastal lagoons, oligotrophic waters containing very few minerals, wet heath and dry heath. Grey Seals breed on neighbouring Inishark and other smaller islands, and on the Stags of Bofin.
Approximately one fifth of Inishbofin is classed as a Special Protection Area (004231) and is of high ornithological significance due to its breeding population of corncrakes. The Corncrake is on the IUCN red list of threatened species, due to population and range declines of more than 50% in the last 25 years across significant parts of its range. It is also listed in Annex 1 of EU Birds Directive.
Several other species from the Red list breed here e.g. lapwing, herring gull, meadow pipit. Amber listed are skylark and chough.
The West Connaught Coastal SAC (9002998) extends from to the Erris Head down to Ballyconneely, fringing Inishbofin and Inishturk. It is an exceptional area of key conservation importance for Bottle-nosed Dolphins in Ireland.
Inishbofin has a small area of Machair, a coastal grassland unique to northern and western coastal areas of Ireland and Scotland, which supports a rich diversity of plant, insect and bird life. This was restored under the Duach Beach Restoration Project several years ago.
We have a beautiful coastline which is a mix of rocky and sandy shores. Marine pollution and sustainable fishing practices are subjects which directly affect our community.