Minister Humphreys allowing threatened birds to be shot out of the skies

20 May

red listed birds copy

Minister Heather Humphreys and the National Parks and Wildlife Service are allowing the killing of bird species identified as being “threatened” and “of conservation concern”.

From September 1st, when the open seasons begin, hunters armed with shotguns will be free to blast out of the sky red-listed birds whose populations are in worrying decline.

A National Parks and Wildlife Service notice, published by the Department of Arts & Heritage, presents the animal and bird species which hunters can target. These include species which have been hit with “dramatic” declines, a threatened species with “high priority conservation status” and a species with less than 50 breeding pairs remaining and a wintering population of just 760 birds.

Many of the birds included in the government’s open season are flagged as red-listed and amber-listed in “Birds of Conservation Concern in Ireland 2014–2019” – an all-Ireland report by Bird Watch Ireland and the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds. Download the report (pdf file)

“Red-listed species are those of highest conservation priority, being globally threatened, declining rapidly in abundance or range, or having undergone historic declines from which they have not recently recovered,” the report states. ” Amber-listed species have an unfavourable status in Europe, have moderately declined in abundance or range, a very small population size, a localised distribution, or occur in internationally important numbers.”

Below are details of the hunting seasons alongside information from the “Birds of Conservation Concern in Ireland 2014–2019” report. After reading, please respond to the action alert.

Golden Plover – Red-listed
May be killed during a hunting season from 1st September to 31st January

The breeding population has experienced a 52% decline in the past 10-15 years, while the non-breeding population has fallen by a massive 66% in the past 25 years. “From an Irish perspective, the red-listing of these species is an essential recognition of their threatened and high priority conservation status on the island.”

Red Grouse – Red-listed
May be killed during a hunting season from September 1st to 30th

“Surveys of Red Grouse in Northern Ireland and in the Republic of Ireland, have highlighted the impact that land-use changes in upland habitats have had on a once widespread species with recent population estimates of no more than 2,500 pairs across all-Ireland. This is half that of previous highest estimates, reflecting the huge range contraction…”

Gadwall – Amber-listed
May be killed during a hunting season from 1st September to 31st January

There are less than 50 breeding pairs in Ireland and an estimated 760 birds wintering here.

Greylag Goose – Amber-listed
May be killed during a hunting season from 1st September to 15th October countrywide and from 16th October to 31st January at Lady’s Island Lake in Wexford and at Gearagh East and Gearagh West in Cork.

This wintering bird has an estimated all-Ireland population of just 4,790

Wigeon – Red-listed
May be killed during a hunting season from 1st September to 31st January

Less than 6 breeding pairs, nearly 63,000 non-breeding wintering birds. Now red-listed due to a long-term decline of over 50% in wintering population.

Pintail – Red-listed
May be killed during a hunting season from 1st September to 31st January

Only 1+ breeding pair thought to be remaining here and just 1,800 wintering. There has been a long-term 66% decline in the wintering populations in Ireland.

Shoveler – Red-listed
May be killed during a hunting season from 1st September to 31st January

Less than 40 breeding pairs remaining. Large wintering population decline of 62%, with a wintering population of just 2,910 birds.

Scaup – Amber-listed
May be killed during a hunting season from 1st September to 31st January

Just 6,300 birds wintering around Ireland

Tufted Duck – Red-listed
May be killed during a hunting season from 1st September to 31st January

This diving duck has experienced a “dramatic” short-term decline in non-breeding populations, estimated to be 52%. The species has been in decline since the 1980s.

Pochard – Red-listed
May be killed during a hunting season from 1st September to 31st January

There were less than 5 breeding pairs of pochards between 2007-11. The wintering population is estimated to be 16,030 but “wintering declines in Ireland have been so dramatic”. The short term decline has been 59% in the last 25 years.

Goldeneye – Red-listed
May be killed during a hunting season from 1st September to 31st January

Over the past 25 years, there has been a 52% fall in the population of this diving duck. There has been a dramatic decline in the numbers wintering here, with the figure believed to now be just 6,040

Woodcock – Red-listed
May be killed during a hunting season from 1st November to 31st January.

There are conservation concerns around the Woodcock due to its long term deceline in breeding range (greater than 70%).

Jack Snipe – Amber-listed
May be killed during a hunting season from 1st September to 31st January

Teal – Amber-listed
May be killed during a hunting season from 1st September to 31st January

“Information on range and abundance is far from comprehensive.”

ACTION ALERT

Instead of facilitating the killing of birds, Minister Heather Humphreys and the National Parks and Wildlife Service should be doing everything possible to protect these vulnerable species. Contact them now.

Email “Stop facilitating the killing of threatened birds” to Heather.Humphreys@oireachtas.ie,ministers.office@ahg.gov.ie,taoiseach@taoiseach.gov.ie,joan.burton@oireachtas.ie,nature.conservation@ahg.gov.ie
Tel: (01) 631 3802 or (01) 631 3800
Leave a comment on Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/heather.humphreysfg
Tweet to Heather Humphreys: @HHumphreysFG

Government Notice Game Hunting Licences & Open Seasons 16

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: