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27/09/2021

Carlow TD calls for protection for threatened bird species

Cllr Malcolm Noonan

Cllr Malcolm Noonan

Many hunters will be glad to hear that the Open Seasons Order allows for the hunting of certain birds from today.

However, one Green Party TD for the Carlow and Kilkenny area has made it publicly known that he does not share the same sentiments.

According to KCLR 96 FM, Councillor Malcolm Noonan, who is also the Minister of State for Heritage & Electoral Reform, urged the Irish public to "look again at how our practices impact on our bird populations."

He said in a statement: "Biodiversity in Ireland (as it is globally) is coming under pressure from many different sources."

"Such pressures combined can have a negative impact on many species."

Mr. Noonan continued: "Our wild bird populations are particularly susceptible and it is important that we fully understand how our actions and other factors cumulatively can impact on the viability of vulnerable bird species.

"It is essential to examine the sustainability of many of our practices given the pressure that successive generations have put on our fragile ecosystems."

He continued: "Our birdlife is an essential component of the natural ecosystems that we too are part of."

"Therefore, I believe it is necessary for us to look again at how our practices impact on our bird populations."

Minister Noonan concluded his statement by saying: "The wild bird hunting season opens on September 1st and, like many people, I am deeply concerned at the potentially unsustainable hunting of birds of conservation concern in Ireland."

"By the time the season comes around next year the National Parks and Wildlife Service at the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage and the stakeholders will have concluded a paper for me on the science, the EU position and what can be done in Ireland in the short, medium and long term."

Mr. Noonan also claims that he has established a working group in the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) to determine the next steps, and has also invited to stakeholders to participate in a collaborative dialogue in the coming months to develop a plan for a sustainable future for various bird species in Ireland.

According to the NPWS, various wild game birds may be hunted at certain times of the year, with one key example being grouse, which can only be hunted in the month of September.

In 2019, Josepha Madigan, the former Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht removed the species known as Curlew from the open season list due to the current conservation concerns with that species.

Further information about the open season for birds can be found at npws.ie.

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