BirdWatch Ireland's Group Species Action Plans for Irish Birds

Background to Groups Species Action Plans for Irish Birds

‘The Birds Case’

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 national 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 led in developing a series of 10 Group Species Action Plans for Ireland's ‘priority, migratory and dispersed’ birds based on their habitat requirements.  These plans encompass those species that are found on the Birds of Conservation Concern in Ireland Red and Amber lists, including those regularly occurring birds in Ireland also found on 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. Going forward, stakeholder cooperation and support is key to implementing the actions listed within the plans (further information on the actions identified for those stakeholders involved in the action planning process can be reviewed via the online database here).  Furthermore, it is important that there is real progress made on cross-departmental and sectorial cooperation in fulfilling our international and national obligations and ensuring we safeguard a vital part of our natural heritage for the future.

Please click on the action plans on the right to download your copy which details the full list of actions. 

Delivering tangible conservation actions for all 10 bird species groups birds in Ireland have been identified through the setting of a number of targets (total 150) and actions (total 455) which are grouped into four themes:
• Theme 1: Research & Monitoring (52 targets, 145 actions)
• Theme 2: Policy, Legislation and Advocacy (37 targets, 122 actions)
• Theme 3: Species and Site Protection (41 targets, 131 actions)
• Theme 4: Education and Awareness (20 targets, 57 actions)

In addition a number of single species targets and actions have been identified for key species across the plans and are listed in Table 10 in each of the plans.

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


Groups Species Action Planning - Events Archive

Official Launch of the Lowland Farmland Birds (08/11/11)


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).


Official Launch of the Action Plan for Marine & Sea Cliff Birds (08/06/11)


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)


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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