Magheraveely – Kilroosky Lake Cluster

Magheraveely –Kilroosky Lake Cluster is a cluster of seven freshwater lakes and one wetland area located in Counties Fermanagh and Monaghan, straddling the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. Known as “Kilrooksy” in the RoI and Magheraveely in NI, the lakes are a specific type of lake known technically as “marl lakes”. Marl lakes are lakes with a loose clay and lime sediment bed which are fed by lime rich water and sit upon a layer of limestone rock.

Magheraveely-Kilroosky Lake Cluster is also notable for the marginal fen vegetation surrounding the lakes, with significant areas of sedges and herbs including several nationally scarce species. Several of the lakes also have strong populations of the endangered White-clawed crayfish, a species indicative of good water quality.

Magheraveely – Kilroosky Lake Cluster

CANN Works

Over the lifespan of the project, the CANN team will be working on producing a Conservation Action Plan for the Magheraveely-Kilroosky Lake Cluster, which will be used to guide the lakes and their surrounding fens towards a favourable conservation status. On the ground conservation actions to be carried out include monitoring lakes water quality, surveying biodiversity and current crayfish populations, mitigation against invasive species, and management of lakeside vegetation.


The white-clawed crayfish is the only native crayfish species in the UK and Ireland, and typically lives in freshwater habitats which are rich in minerals, such as limestone lakes. A significant proportion of the European population of white-clawed crayfish are found in the UK and Ireland, and whilst the population has a very widespread distribution the species has been in rapid decline and as a result is very rare and endangered. The main threat to the white-clawed crayfish is an invasive species from North America; the signal crayfish. As well as outcompeting the smaller native white-clawed crayfish for shelter and food, the signal crayfish transmit a disease known as “Crayfish Plague” which is incredibly fatal for the native white-clawed crayfish whilst being harmless to the signal crayfish.
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