A Victory for Nature: huge public campaign saves EU nature laws


Hen Harrier (Photo: Neil O'Reilly)BirdWatch Ireland is thrilled that our EU nature laws have been saved, following an epic two-year campaign by conservation groups.  EU President Jean-Claude Juncker and his Commission have confirmed that the EU’s flagship nature laws – the Birds and Habitats Directives – will remain in place and will neither be rewritten nor weakened, as had been initially proposed, ending two years of uncertainty over the laws’ future.  The Commission has also called for a plan to better implement and enforce these laws.

This is a win for the record half a million people, including 8,000 people from Ireland, who called on the Commission to save and enforce these laws as part of the Europe-wide #NatureAlert campaign.

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Irresponsible and misleading Tipperary Star article about Buzzards


Buzzard (Photo: Eddie Dunne)BirdWatch Ireland would like to raise its serious concerns in relation to a highly misleading and misinformed article featured on the front page of last week’s edition of the Tipperary Star, which makes outlandish claims that Buzzards, a bird of prey, have been “targeting” terriers in the county.

Such misinformation and negative sentiment towards birds of prey is unfortunately nothing new. The particularly sensationalist piece in the Tipperary Star warns owners of pet dogs and cats to be on high alert from “giant Buzzards” which are “causing major problems in the mid-Tipperary area”. This article has succeeded in attracting significant attention for all the wrong reasons. There are far-reaching consequences from fostering such misguided fear of birds of prey, which threaten to drag Ireland back into a darker past.

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Task force to be established in an effort to save Ireland’s Curlews from extinction


Curlew in moorland (Photo: Richard Mills)A task force of key stakeholders is to be set up immediately to protect the Curlew, one of Ireland's most threatened breeding bird species.  This was one of the main actions which arose out of the recent Curlew in Crisis workshop.

The workshop brought together almost 100 scientists and conservationists to discuss the crisis facing breeding Curlew in Ireland.  Results from a survey funded by NPWS have shown that just 130 breeding pairs remain in the Republic of Ireland and that the species is facing extinction here within the next 10 years if emergency action is not taken.

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National workshop to address plight of the Curlew


Curlew (Photo: Mike Brown)The Curlew, one of Ireland's most iconic wild birds, is under serious threat.  Unless urgent action is taken, it is facing extinction as an Irish breeding species within the next 10 years.

In the 1980s there were around 5,000 breeding pairs in the Republic of Ireland, but today there are fewer than 150, according to a national survey commissioned by the National Parks and Wildlife Service.

BirdWatch Ireland, University College Dublin and Mary Colwell are organising a one-day workshop for experts and local community representatives to formulate ways to halt the extinction of the Curlew on 4th November at the New Forest Golf Club in Co Westmeath.

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Hedge-cutting is not permitted until 1st September


BirdWatch Ireland would like to remind the public that hedge-cutting is NOT permitted between 1st March and 31st August inclusive, except in the case of any of the derogations permitted under the Wildlife Acts 1976-2010 applying.

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BirdWatch Ireland appealing for breeding Curlew records


BirdWatch Ireland is again appealing to members of the public to look out for breeding pairs of this highly threatened species this year and to report them to the organisation. BirdWatch Ireland, under contract to the National Parks and Wildlife Service, is undertaking a national Breeding Curlew Survey in parts of the north-west, west and south-west of Ireland and is appealing to members of the public to take part.



 © Mike Brown



Further evidence of Curlew declines


Populations of breeding Curlew, Numenius arquata (Irish: Crotach) in Ireland have declined significantly in recent decades and now represent one of the country's highest conservation priorities.



© Colum Clarke



Results of National Hen Harrier Survey 2015 show worrying declines


Female Hen HarrierAs one of Ireland’s rarest birds of prey, the long-term declines in Hen Harrier populations provides cause for concern, particularly given the important role this species has to play in our wild and rural landscapes. Hen Harriers are renowned for their spectacular aerial courtship displays known as the ‘skydance’. 


Female Hen Harrier. © Shay Connolly



BirdWatch Ireland surprised and concerned by IFA poster campaign


BirdWatch Ireland is extremely surprised to learn about the poster campaign launched today by the Irish Farmers’ Association to bar our organisation, as well as the National Parks and Wildlife Service, from accessing farmers’ land, as reported on the IFA website.





BirdWatch Ireland appoints Interim CEO


The Board are pleased to announce the appointment of Declan O’Sullivan as CEO of BirdWatch Ireland for an interim period from Monday 18th April 2016.

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The EU is one step closer to eliminating seabird bycatch


After years of dialogue, the European Commission has proposed that all relevant fishing vessels in the EU implement concrete measures to stop the accidental catching of seabirds in their fishing gear.





Cory's shearwater. © Killian Mularney


Dates for burning and hedge-cutting have NOT changed


BirdWatch Ireland, Ireland’s largest conservation charity, is very concerned about misinformation that is currently circulating regarding the dates within which the burning of vegetation and cutting of hedges is permitted.  It would like to remind landowners that all burning and cutting must cease on 29th February this year and that burning and cutting remains prohibited from 1st March to 31st August.



Yellowhammer. © Brian Caffrey



New LIFE Roseate Tern Project commences 2016


This year, BirdWatch Ireland, in partnership with the RSPB and North Wales Wildlife Trust, will start a 5-year EU LIFE-funded programme to boost the conservation status of Roseate Terns in northwest Europe. Here in Ireland we have two colonies, at Rockabill (Co. Dublin) and Lady’s Island Lake (Co. Wexford). 





© Stephen McAvoy



BirdWatch Ireland welcomes climate change agreement reached at COP21


BirdWatch Ireland welcomes the climate change agreement reached at COP 21 in Paris last weekend. Nearly 200 nations around the world, including Ireland, have agreed to hold 'the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels, recognizing that this would significantly reduce the risks and impacts of climate change'.


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