BirdWatch Ireland's Group Action Plans for Irish Birds

In December 2007, Ireland was found guilty of failing to properly transpose and implement two very important European Directives into Irish Legislation (European Court of Justice ruling case: C-418/04). The Birds Directive (2009/147/EC) and Habitats Directive (92/43/EEC) provide the framework for the protection of Europe’s wildlife. Fulfilling our obligations under these Directives is vital to protect our biodiversity, ecosystems and the services they provide us, as well as to improve upon our poor compliance record with European Law. One of the main issues identified was the lack of a coherent strategy for the protection of "priority, migratory and dispersed" bird species in the wider countryside (i.e. outside of protected areas) in Ireland. 

To address this problem BirdWatch Ireland has developed group Species Action Plans for Irelands "priority, migratory and dispersed" birds based on their habitat requirements. The birds that have been included in the project are those which are found in the national Birds of  Conservation Concern in Ireland Red and Amber lists, the regularly occurring birds in Ireland found in Annex I of the  European Birds Directive and a few additional bird species needing protection. The process of developing these Action Plans was heavily reliant on stakeholder consultation. Stakeholder input and support are key to implementing the actions within these Action Plans and it is important that there is real progress made on cross-departmental and sectorial cooperation in fulfilling our international and national obligations and to safeguard a vital part of Irish heritage for the future.

Ten bird group Action Plans have been developed; please click on the Action Plans on the right for more information and to download the Action Plans. 

This project was partially funded through the Environment Fund of the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government.


Official Launch of the Lowland Farmland Birds


Lowland Farmland Action Plan launch, left to right: Anja Murray (BirdWatch Ireland), Alex Copland (BirdWatch Ireland), Oliver McEvoy (Dept. Agriculture, Food & the Marine), Catherine Keena (Teagasc), Minister Coveney (Dept. Agriculture, Food & the Marine), Alan Lauder (BirdWatch Ireland), John Kelly (Invasive Species Ireland), Peadar O'Connell (BirdWatch Ireland)



Minister Coveney discusses the Action Plan with BirdWatch Ireland CEO Alan Lauder.

Official launch (see press release above): The Action Plan for Lowland Farmland Birds in Ireland was officially launched on the 8th of November 2011 by the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Simon Coveney T.D. in the departments headquarters in Dublin. Present were a number of stakeholders and BirdWatch Ireland staff. We would like to thank Minister Coveney for his interest in the Action Plan and we look forward to working with him and his department in the coming years on implementing the actions within the plan. We would also like to thank all the stakeholders who were involved in the consultation phase, whose help in developing the targets and actions was invaluable. Fianlly thank you to the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Governement for their support in partially funding the project.




Official Launch of the Marine & Sea Cliff Birds

Official Launch of The Action Plan for Marine and Sea Cliff Birds in Ireland (08/06/11)

Left to right: Cllr. Stephen Stokes; Minister Jimmy Deenihan; Cllr. Sarah Wray; Alan Lauder (BirdWatch Ireland) & Pat Ó'Súilleabháin (National Sea Life Centre)
Left to Right: Caitriona Diviney (IWEA); Minister Deenihan; Alan Lauder; Steve Newton (BirdWatch Ireland) & Oscar Merne
Left to right: Gráinne O'Brien (BIM); Lorcán O'Cinneide (Federation of Irish Fishermen); Minister Deenihan; Alan Lauder; Peter Norton (Mountaineering Ireland) & Peadar O'Connell (BirdWatch Ireland)

Please see the Press Release above. The launch of the Action Plan for Marine and Sea Cliff Birds in Ireland 2011-2020 was a great success, we would like to thank Minister Deenihan for officially launcing the Action Plan and to the National Sea Life Centre in Bray for allowing us to use their facilities and to Ocean2012 for supporting the launch as one of the many activities running during World Oceans Day and Fish Week 4th-12th June. We would also like to thank the Department of Environment, Community and Local Government for part financing the project through the Environment Fund. Thanks to everyone who has been involved and we look forward to working with you in implementing this Plan now its complete. You can download a copy of the Action Plan by clicking on the image of the cover on the right hand side.

Stakeholder Workshop, 19th March 2010
The second workshop was run for Marine and Sea Cliff Birds. A number of relevant stakeholders were invited and the output of the workshop informed a draft Action Plan for Marine & Sea Cliff Birds in Ireland. This draft has been released for further consultation and sign-up. The completed plan will be completed early in the new year. Thank you to all who have taken part in the process to date. Special thanks to Dublin Zoo for their help and support in organising the workshop.

Stakeholders present at workshop: BirdWatch Ireland; Bord Iascaigh Mhára (BIM); Department of Agriculture, Food & Fisheries; Federation of Irish Fishermen; Galway Mayo Institute of Technology (GMIT); Irish Coast Guard; Irish Environmental Network; Irish Seal Sanctuary; National Parks & Wildlife Service (NPWS); University College Cork (UCC)

Other stakeholders consulted: An Taisce; Coastal & Marine Resource Centre; Coastwatch; Dept. Communications, Energy & Natural Resources; Dept. Defence; Dept. Justice & Law Reform; Environment Protection Agency (EPA); Fáilte Ireland; Golden Eagle Trust; Heritage Council; Invasive Species Ireland; Irish Farmers Association (IFA); Irish Raptor Study Group; Irish Whale & Dolphin Group; Irish Wind Energy Association (IWEA); Leave No Trace Ireland; Marine Institute; Mountaineering Ireland; National Association of Regional Game Councils; National Biodiversity Data Centre; National Offshore Wind Association of Ireland; Office of Public Works; Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB); Sea Fisheries Protection Agency; Sustainable Energy Authority Ireland and a number of bird & habitat experts.

Action Plans

Marine and Sea Cliff Birds


 Shore & Lagoon Birds

Dune & Machair

Lake, Fen & Turlough Birds

Riparian Birds

Lowland Farmland Birds 


Urban & Suburban Birds

Woodland & Scrub Birds

Upland Birds

Raised Bog Birds


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