NPWS Science and Biodiversity

National Parks and Wildlife Service  – Science and Biodiversity – Functions and Services

  • Providing high-quality scientific and  policy advice to underpin national nature conservation policy and the implementation of national, EU and international obligations in this regard.
  • Delivering scientific input to the implementation of the EU Directives, including the Habitats and Birds Directives and, as relevant, the Marine Strategy Framework and Water Framework Directives.
  • Providing the scientific basis for nature conservation designations required under EU law and ensuring that national and site specific conservation objectives are put in place for Natura 2000 sites.
  • Working with other government departments and agencies in relation to content and delivery multi-annual operational programmes that are related to biodiversity, including the EMFF and the CAP.
  • Conducting scientific monitoring and reporting as required under EU legislation.
  • Manage the DAHG Farm Plan Scheme
  • Supplying the scientific inputs necessary to resolve adverse judgements of the Court of Justice of the European Union, or other compliance issues as relevant.
  • Manage and provide inputs to EU and international co-funded projects, such as LIFE projects.
  • Contribution to the implementation of the National Biodiversity Plan and the National Peatlands Strategy across all sectors in line with agreed priority actions.
  • Manage and provide inputs to International Conventions and Agreements including the Convention on Biological Diversity, CITES,  
  • Provision of GIS, data management and other information systems.
  • Implementing the Zoo licencing system in accordance with EU Directive 1999/22/EC
  • Operating the licencing system relating to the UN Convention on Trade in Endangered Species(CITES)
  • Developing and implementing policy  in relation to of EU Regulations  including  regulations on Invasive Alien Species and Access and Benefit Sharing

National Parks and Wildlife Service  – Science and Biodiversity – Accessing our Services

  • Much of the work on scientific monitoring and reporting is outsourced and invitations to tender are placed on etenders.ie and/or in the official journal of the EU, as appropriate.
  • Results of scientific monitoring and reporting are routinely published on a Departmental website; in addition species records are routinely transmitted to the National Biodiversity Data Centre and are available there.
  • Additional requests for as-yet unpublished data can be made via the Data Request Form on the NPWS website
  • The unit provides general information concerning biodiversity matters by responding to queries from the public and providing information leaflets and posters. It also manages and updates the Notice Nature Website, noticenature.ie, which is a website aimed at increasing awareness of biodiversity among the general public.
  • Information and data on species is available on the National Biodiversity Data Centre website http://www.biodiversityireland.ie/
  • Data and reports arising from scientific monitoring and research is available on http://www.npws.ie/publications
  • Requests for as-yet unpublished data can be made via the Data Request Form on the NPWS website http://www.npws.ie/maps-and-data/request-data

Full contact details for the unit can be found at https://www.chg.gov.ie/about/contact/ and www.npws.ie.

National Parks and Wildlife Service  – Science and Biodiversity – Classes of records Held

  • Records relating to policy, legislative, financial and administrative matters concerning the functions of the unit.
  • Records relating to international and European biodiversity policy, including information pertaining to EU and international meetings, international conventions and agreements, EU and international organisations, EU and international biodiversity strategies.
  • Results of scientific monitoring and reporting
  • Records relating to the Farm Plan Scheme
  • Records relating to national policy, including those concerning the development and implementation of the National Biodiversity Strategy, the Biodiversity Forum, interdepartmental steering groups and public awareness initiatives.
  • Records relating to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) including certificates/permits issued, meetings and general correspondence
  • Records relating to zoo licencing processes
  • Records containing personal information concerning Environment Fund Grant Applications.
  • Records relating to applications for EU LIFE funding
  • Records relating to tender/contract processes for research/licencing work related to the functions of the Unit

National Parks and Wildlife Service  – Science and Biodiversity – Grant or Funding Schemes


Farm Plan Scheme

Where specific management is needed on farms in Natura sites, and GLAS/RDP measures or funding conditions cannot meet the requirements needed, contracts with farmers may be put in place

  • where there are directly measurable losses arising from compliance with measures required by this Department and which limit the existing use agricultural productivity of the land (e.g. tolerating important species such as geese and swans),or
  • where specific pro-active conservation/breeding measures are required by and managed or overseen by the Department to protect/restore an important species or habitat. This could include active habitat management, reintroduction schemes, trialling measures and approaches which subsequently could be used in GLAS, etc.

Farmers can apply using the form at http://www.npws.ie/farmers-and-landowners/schemes/npws-farm-plan-scheme

The Farm Plan Scheme is subject to strict budgetary limits and new applicants are considered on the basis of relevance, value for money and availability of funds.

Grants Offered from the Environment Fund for Biodiversity Awareness
Grant Funding is provided for projects aimed at promoting and increasing awareness of biodiversity. All public organisations, non-governmental organisations, charitable organisations and the general public including schools and local communities are eligible to apply for funding. The scheme is subject to funding being available and applications are submitted on a Grant Application Form issued by the Biodiversity Policy Unit.

Projects eligible for funding could include those that:

  • Enhance public awareness of the importance of conserving biodiversity and of the underlying threats to biodiversity;
  • Communicate the importance of biodiversity issues;
  • Promote innovative solutions to reduce threats to biodiversity;

Raise awareness of accomplishments to save biodiversity that have already been achieved

National Parks and Wildlife Service  – Science and Biodiversity – Major Policy Proposals and Public Consultations

Draft Irish Standards of Modern Zoo Practice were published on the 24th March, 2016 for public consultation purposes. The consultation period is to end on the 22nd April, 2016. Details are available on www.npws.ie


















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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