We condemn the illegal fires which have destroyed vast swathes of habitat, decimated wildlife and, most recently and tragically, a family home. Thousands of hectares of mountain, hill, bog and forest habitat have been destroyed already this year, incinerating the wildlife that cannot escape fast enough, including helpless chicks in their nests, or animals which find themselves caught between flames and fences. These damaging fires happen every year and little is being done to prevent them. From 2010 to 2015, the cost to the exchequer of tackling over 5,889 gorse, forest and bog fires in ten counties amounted to over €6 million.
Over 140 organisations from all over Europe, including BirdWatch Ireland – representing consumers and the food sector, and those working to promote environmental protection, health, and animal welfare – have joined a call for reform of the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy (CAP)
The organisations have responded to an appeal by 'Living Land' – a broad campaign which recognises that the EU’s agriculture policy is devastating to both our climate and our environment, wiping out wildlife, harming public health, and is failing small- and medium-sized farmers as well as rural communities.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 on Twitter
BirdWatch Ireland on Facebook