Machair is a unique and rare coastal system found only in Ireland and Scotland. In Ireland, it is found on the north west Atlantic coast, from Connemara to Donegal.
Machair sites provide an important refuge for threatened breeding wader bird species and pollinators in Ireland. Species such as Dunlin, Lapwing and Redshank rely on these coastal areas as important breeding areas from otherwise intensively farmed and drained wetland areas inland. Species such as the Great Yellow Bumblebee and the Northern Colletes solitary bee occur only in Machair sites, further highlighting their important role in supporting our national biodiversity.
However, the degradation of the supporting Machair habitats means a sward structure that is not suitable for nesting waders (low cover and protection, reduced food resources for chick rearing) and diminishing floral resources for pollinators.