25/09/13

25/09/2013: Minister Deenihan Launches – Species Action Plan for Ireland’s Red Grouse to provide guidance for the conservation and management of Red Grouse and their habitats in Ireland.

Features of the Plan include:
• Vision for the restoration of Ireland’s Red Grouse over the forthcoming years.
• Restoration of Red Grouse habitats on Ireland’s bogs,
• Control on nest predators and a programme of monitoring,

At the National Ploughing Championships in Laois today (25th September 2013), the Minister for Arts Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Jimmy Deenihan, T.D. officially launched a Species Action Plan for Ireland’s Red Grouse.
The purpose of this action plan is to provide guidance for the conservation and management of Red Grouse and their habitats in Ireland. It was developed by a consortium of game, conservation and farmer groups.
Speaking at the launch today Minister Deenihan acknowledged the key role of the Irish Grey Partridge Conservation Trust, who with the support of his own Department set up the forum that made this Action Plan possible, and all the other organisations involved.
The Minister stated “I am very pleased that my Department is associated with the plan and I wish to commend the Trust for facilitating the many meetings and bringing this plan to fruition”.  I also wish to congratulate and thank each of the field sport and conservation organisations that have come together and worked long and hard to produce this red grouse species action plan”.
This Action Plan was necessitated by the decline in Red Grouse populations in Ireland, which are linked with the continued decline of its habitats and the condition and extent of our bogs.   As human pressures and exploitation have increased, the effect on grouse populations and their habitats has been profoundly detrimental.   Red Grouse require large areas of natural and semi-natural habitat and the destruction and fragmentation of these habitats has been identified as major threats to Red Grouse populations not just in Ireland but for all grouse species globally.
The plan sets out a vision of how the restoration of Ireland’s Red Grouse will continue  over the forthcoming years. It includes the restoration of Red Grouse habitats on Ireland’s bogs, control on nest predators and a programme of monitoring, which will calibrate the response of local and regional populations to management.
The Minister finished by stating that “the production of this species action plan for red grouse is an important step in securing the conservation of the species as part of our natural and sporting heritage.  Effective conservation measures need the engagement and enthusiasm of local people to make a difference in their area which is why I welcome the recognition in this plan of the efforts of so many local red grouse projects.”

ENDS

Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, 23 Kildare Street, Dublin , D02 TD30. Tel: 01 631 3800 / LoCall: 1890 383 000

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