Business news

New technology to help protect seabirds

Posted By:
Lagan Networks Ltd

8th Jun 2023

Northern Ireland company to install a wireless sensor network across Rathlin Island.

Ballygowan-based Lagan Networks has been selected by RSPB NI to provide a wireless radio network and custom wireless sensors for use across Rathlin Island as part of the Rathlin Acting for Tomorrow (LIFE Raft) Project, which is working to protect wildlife from invasive non-native predators.

Rathlin is known as a haven for wildlife, including many threatened species, and hosts Northern Ireland’s largest seabird colony. One of the most important breeding sites in both the UK and Ireland, it’s wildlife is under threat, including 25 bird species and notably the puffin. One of the key threats to the wildlife is from predation by invasive non-native species.

This project will help safeguard Rathlin’s seabirds and ground-nesting birds that are under threat through a brown rat and ferret eradication programme.

Mark Walmsley, Lagan Networks Commercial Director, commented, “We are delighted to be working with RSPB NI, the Rathlin Development Community Association and others on this exciting project and look forward to seeing the benefits that it will bring to Rathlin Island”.

Dr David Tosh, Eradication Delivery Manager, RSPBNI said,

“Lots of factors must come together to make the LIFE Raft project a success, but our new and ground breaking wireless radio network is especially important. Without it, our staff would have to monitor our equipment manually, which would be a huge task on an island the size of Rathlin. But with Lagan Network’s system, LIFE Raft staff can carry out its work in the most efficient and humane way possible”.

The project’s operations will begin in Autumn 2023, and are expected to run for up to two years.