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Saturday 25 March 2023 Dublin: 3°C


Last month
February 2023
Ireland fares worst at managing protected nature sites in new EU report
A report by
Niall Sargent
Out of 10 countries, Ireland underperformed in every measure aimed at protecting at-risk species such as the curlew and corncrake.
Report examined the effectiveness of measures to protect vulnerable species in Special Protection Areas (SPAs)
No Irish case had targeted, measurable and time-bound conservation measures to deliver the favourable status of species
"Incomplete and/or irregular” monitoring of many species also found
Last year
# Investigation
Over the Hill: Persistent overgrazing causing 'devastation' in vulnerable habitats
Many upland areas are experiencing ongoing grazing pressure and degradation, with rare plants disappearing.
Many upland areas are experiencing grazing pressure and degradation, with rare plants disappearing
Anthea Lacchia of investigative platform Noteworthy reports that overgrazing remains an issue despite being recognised as a problem for at least two decades
Protected areas will be lost if farmers are not given more support, according to experts
# peat sake
EPA to investigate complaint about State response to peat extraction on protected bogs
The move from the environmental watchdog comes in response to a complaint from an environmental NGO about illegal cutting.
# curlew champion
Wildlife service set to hire champions to aid with the conservation of curlews
The wildlife service has estimated that without any action, curlews could go extinct as a breeding species within the next five to ten years.
Peat was cut at 280 plots in protected bogs last year without State consent
A report by
Niall Sargent
Noteworthy analysis reveals cutting has frequently taken place at 30 protected sites over the past decade despite clear prohibitions since 2011.
The cutting of peat has frequently taken place at 30 protected sites over the past decade, writes Niall Sargent of Noteworthy
No ministerial consents have been granted by the State to allow cutting in any of the protected raised bog network sites
Just 1% of Ireland's active raised bogs remain after decades of peat-cutting and land reclamation
All time
# Endangered Species
Rare hen harrier numbers plummet as plan to protect species pushed back
Only 18 pairs of the rare raptor species reared chicks this year in areas designated to protect it – the most unproductive year on record.
Crackdown sees 50 cases launched against illegal hedge cutting this year
A report by
Niall Sargent
Action by National Parks and Wildlife Service this year represents huge increase; only 70 cases were taken across the whole previous decade.
Huge crackdown on illegal cutting during bird nesting season over the past two years, writes Niall Sargent of Noteworthy
Since 2020, the wildlife service has taken as many cases to court as it did between 2010 and 2019
Over €45,000 was paid by guilty parties in fines, costs and donations to charities this year alone
# cash cow
A win for farming, a win for nature: scheming for sustainability
Farm subsidies to protect biodiversity need to be channelled into results-led projects.
# Endangered Species
Commission raps Ireland for 'persistently failing' to manage protected nature sites
Just over 60% of our 600-plus legally protected nature areas have conservation objectives.
# Biodiversity
Funding failure: Most of Ireland's biodiversity spend goes on schemes that have little impact
Ireland’s overall spending on biodiversity protection is also under internationally-accepted levels.
Loss of Ireland's biodiversity is accelerating - and we're missing the chance to halt it
A report by
Niall Sargent
Noteworthy reveals virtually no protected sites have management plans and Ireland is moving further away from a target for effective nature conservation.
A host of iconic Irish species and habitats are under threat, writes Niall Sargent in first part of Noteworthy's investigation into biodiversity loss
Virtually none of our protected nature areas have management plans
An expert forum has labelled the State as the “biggest transgressor of environmental law in Ireland”
# wildlife
23 white-tailed eagles arrive in Kerry Airport as part of wildlife reintroduction project
The chicks were collected this June from nests throughout the Trondheim area of West-Central Norway.
State issues licences to salmon farms to cull protected seals, documents reveal
A report by
Niall Sargent
Noteworthy investigation shows that at least two grey seals and three common seals were killed after licences were issued.
Since 2015, the NPWS granted 11 licences to farms to shoot small numbers of the protected species, reports Niall Sargent in the first part of Noteworthy's investigation into the salmon industry
Conservation groups have expressed shock at the decision and a lack of scientific evidence behind culling
The NPWS does not generally carry out site visits to monitor cull events due to 'resourcing issues'
# Kerry boar hunt
Hunt continues in mountainous area of Kerry for missing wild boar
The boar was part of a herd of seven which was roaming the countryside near Castleisland.
Parks service to rewet Wicklow Mountain bogs to increase Dublin water supply levels
A total of 60 hectares of blanket bogs are expected to be re-wetted by the NPWS.
# Shear Force
3,000 kilometres cut in three years: Ireland's hedgerow heritage at risk
Noteworthy discovers rich hedgerow resource cut back by local authorities during bird nesting season.
# buzzard
Appeal for information after buzzard found shot dead on roadside in Co Laois
The bird was on a tree when it was shot with a shotgun at 7.50am on Saturday, 5 December.
# banna beach
Wildlife service investigates reports of 'beheaded' seals on Kerry beach
The NPWS said it has visited the scene at Banna Beach.
# Eagles have landed
Ten white-tailed eagles flown in from Norway to help bolster Irish population
The ten eagles are expected to be released in mid-August.
# eye in the sky
Drones to be deployed to assist firefighters tackling forest fires over coming months
It’s the second year drones will be used to monitor designated ‘hot spots’ across regions of Dublin, Wicklow and the Midlands.
# red list
The Lambay black rat is now the only 'threatened' terrestrial mammal species in Ireland
There is better news for bats, squirrels and otters.
# RHD2
Suspension of hare coursing licences lifted in areas not affected by deadly virus
The suspension was announced in August after a number of cases of RHD2 were confirmed in Ireland.
# Hare lurching
Five people fined for illegally hunting a hare in Co Mayo
Each defendant was ordered to pay €600 to the Irish Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.
# Deadly
Minister suspends hare coursing licences after deadly rabbit disease discovered in the wild
The National Parks and Wildlife Service is asking the public to report any suspected discoveries of the disease.
# Offaly
Two men convicted of illegally hunting hares in case brought by National Parks and Wildlife Service
Both men were convicted but sentencing was reserved for a later date as the men were not present in the court.
# Nenagh District Court
Man convicted and fined for chopping down hedges during bird nesting season
The case was taken by the National Parks and Wildlife Service.
# crayfish
Warning issued over 'severe and increasing' threat to native crayfish species
Ireland holds one of the largest populations of the globally endangered white-clawed crayfish.
# BallyKelly
Investigation into deaths of two protected falcons found in Wexford quarry
The birds were found close to the remains of a pigeon which the National Parks and Wildlife Service said may be connected.
# storm erik
Number of national parks to temporarily close as Storm Erik to hit country tomorrow
A status orange wind warning for Galway and Mayo has been issued by Met Éireann today.
# Pine marten
'Contact your local ranger': Here's what to do if you find a pine marten in your home
The pine marten is a cat-sized carnivore, which feeds predominantly on berries and invertebrates.
# Kerry
Eddie the Eagle found dead in Kerry after going missing earlier this year
It emerged that, following his discovery, he had been dead for around three months.
# Invasive Species
Killarney National Park 'significantly and rapidly deteriorating' due to rhododendron
The invasive plant is at the centre of a row between a voluntary body and a government department.
# Coypu
Public warned about large rat-like rodent that can 'cause a lot of damage'
A coypu was recently spotted in Cork.
# wildlife
Peregrine falcon found dead at Dalkey Quarry
The quarry was the site of an attempted poisoning of some falcons in 2014.
# Protected
Rare white-tailed eagle chicks hatched in four Irish counties
It is hoped the eagle families will go on to form a viable population in Ireland.
# bird of prey
This protected falcon had to be euthanised after being shot in Wexford
The National Parks and Wildlife Service said the deliberate killing of birds of prey seems to be on the rise.
# Bogs
Appeal issued over unauthorised bog cutting
Parks and Wildlife Service received reports of the cutting from locals in Counties Meath and Westmeath.
# Irish Wildlife Trust
Pine martens could be helping the red squirrel make a comeback, but we need "continued research"
The population of the invasive grey squirrel is continuing to grow in Ireland.
# croaked
Mystery in Kildare after discovery of 250 dead frogs
Samples have now been sent to a lab in the UK to examine the cause of the mass die-off.
# horn of the dance
Environmental groups want to know if Flatley has a licence for that horn of his
The rhino horn was stolen from the dancer’s house in Cork last week.