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.

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


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)

Official launch: 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 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)

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. 


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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