26/10/12 – Deenihan Opens 2nd All-Ireland Mammal Symposium

Jimmy Deenihan TD, Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht will today (Friday 26 October 2012) officially open the All Ireland Mammal Symposium (AIMS2) at the National Botanic Gardens, Glasnevin, Dublin 9.

This is the 2nd All Ireland Mammal Symposium, the 1st  was held in Waterford in 2009. It will showcase current mammal research and conservation being undertaken across the whole island of Ireland. The symposium sets out to promote awareness of the conservation status of mammals in Ireland and to highlight the importance of mammalian biodiversity and mammal habitats in Ireland.

Commenting on the symposium, Minister Deenihan said “I am particularly pleased to see that such a wide range of Irish mammals are being discussed. It is also encouraging to note that research from the whole island of Ireland is being presented, with several important papers included from Northern Ireland. The results of cross border cooperation between both academic institutions and government bodies are also evident and are to be applauded.”

Attendees will include university researchers, academics and students, heritage officers from local authorities, ecological consultants and government staff from the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht and the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine. Over the two day meeting, a broad range of topics will be discussed on all aspects of Irish mammal biology and ecology with topics as diverse as the feeding behaviour of fin whales, satellite tracking of badgers, genetic analysis of squirrels and control of invasive mink.

Minister Deenihan continued “A particular area of continuing cross border cooperation that I would like to highlight is the All Ireland Red Data Lists. The NPWS of my Department, together with their Northern counterparts, the Northern Ireland Environment Agency, have produced six Red Lists to date, with several others at an advanced stage. The red list of Irish mammals, published in 2009, highlighted concerns about the status of both the otter and red squirrel in Ireland, but already there are some indications that the conservation status of these species is improving.

Ireland is of course a maritime nation and I am pleased to see that our marine mammals will also be well represented here over the next two days. Our whales, dolphins and seals tell us much about the condition of our oceans and it is important that we continue to monitor and consider them in all matters relating to our coastal waters and high seas.”



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