Ireland has an extensive network of protected areas, established through national and EU law, for the protection of wildlife (including birds) and habitats. BirdWatch Ireland has a long history of ensuring Ireland fulfils its obligations to afford adequate protection to wild birds. There is an important legal requirement (under Articlle 4(4) of the Birds Directive) to protect birds and their habitat requirements in the wider countryside. Ireland is also committed to reducing its carbon emissions through a greener energy mix, including wind energy.
BirdWatch Ireland is in favour of the development of wind energy as a means of reducing our dependence on fossil fuels and reducing carbon emissions. Most importantly, we believe that better planning, using the current bird senstivity mapping tool, can reduce the overall environmental impact of wind energy generation in Ireland. The mapping tool and its guidance highlight the species-specific sensitivities that need to be considered in the role out of such infrastructure.
- The mapping tool comes with guidance, which is integral to understanding what the tool is for. Please make sure to look at this (summary, complete, species-specific, methodology)
- The tool is not a comprehensive map of where all vulnerable bird species occur. It is indicative only. There may not be data available for the locations of all vulnerable species.
- The map does not create ‘no go’ areas, nor does it give the all-clear for areas with 'less sensitive' species – it is an indication of where sensitivities exist using existing data
So, considering the limitations listed above, what can this tool do for you?
Guidance Document - Bird Sensitivity to Wind Energy Development (2.5 MB)
Layer package - ITM (for use in GIS software) (1.2 MB)
Layer package - ING (for use in GIS software) (1.2 MB)
REST Service Endpoint (2KB)
Shapefiles (Please see Read Me guidelines included) (3.7 MB)
How to Use the Tool
Frequently Asked Questions
This project acknowledges the kind support of our funders, listed below.