When I was younger I read a book called The Day Sea Rolled back. Today it seemed like the sea had rolled all the way to the horizon. Dublin Bay was awash with sun; a heat haze divided the azure sky from the shimmering sand. I walked out directly across the bay towards the pigeon House from sandymount beach.
I followed the ripples of the sands, the tiny dunes stretching out in front of me. Pools of brackish water lay framed by small mounts of worm moulds. Razor clam shells littered the landscape, remnants of the feasting birds. Gulls glided over head.
Ringsend nature reserve sits on top of a hill, a green oasis amongst the white and glistening sands at ebb tide. This is a place of poise and seclusion. A place for peaceful observation of nature. At the heart of our City,
Male and female greenfinches sang to each other from the trees. Orange tip butterflies flitted amongst the verdant greens. The miraculous swelling of summer is occurring. As I sit here typing the sea has claimed back the dunes and the razor clams.
Ireland has a historic problem with bovine tuberculosis (bTB) in cattle and since 1989 has been culling badgers in an effort to eradicate the disease. From the beginning the Irish Wildlife Trust (IWT) has opposed this approach, which sees healthy badgers, including pregnant or nursing females, snared and shot. To-date over 110,000 badgers have been killed in this way yet eradication is still a long way off. In its biennial report, published this week, University College Dublin researchers show the same problem areas around Ireland despite decades of badger culling. The policy must now be considered a failure.
To reach disease-free status – the goal of the eradication programme – would require the level of disease in cattle herds to be maintained at 0.1%, and despite small reductions in recent years the national level is currently at 3.37%, with some regions as high as 13%. An audit by the EU veterinary office in 2014 stated that the goal of eradication was ‘far away’. Yet in 2015, then Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney described the programme as ‘hugely successful’, claiming that eradication was his “personal ambition” and would be achieved by 2030.
IWT Campaign Officer Pádraic Fogarty says “Bovine TB is a scourge for Irish farmers but we have to now acknowledge that the badger culling programme has failed. We would urge the incoming Minister for Agriculture, Michael Creed, to stop this pointless cull and initiate an independent review of the eradication programme.”
Badgers are an important part of our heritage and ecosystems but have been vilified for too long as the cause of the TB problem. The IWT has serious concerns that decades of intensive culling is resulting in the loss of badgers from large parts of agricultural land in Ireland.
 European Commission. 2014. Report of an audit carried out in Ireland from 21 to 28 May 2014
In order to evaluate the effectiveness of, and progress made by the programmes co-financed by the European Union to eradicate bovine tuberculosis.
 Oireachtas Agriculture Committee record, December 8th 2015
CONTACT: Padraic Fogarty - IWT's Campaigns Officer - 087 2959811 for further details.
Biodiversity is the variability amongst living organisms from all sources which includes diversity within and between different species, and ecosystems. Dublin City’s biodiversity consists of the wildlife and habitats located at North Bull Island, and also along the city’s coastline. Dublin biodiversity further includes Phoenix Park, rivers, canals and their riparian zones. Dublin supports à lot of legally-protected habitats along its coastline.
Invasive species of diverse living organisms, climate change issues such as global warming, the loss of habitats, environmental pollution, and anthropogenic activities, all collude to threaten Dublin’s biodiversity. Preserving Dublin’s biodiversity would require a combination of various approaches such as direct and appropriate management of the city’s biodiversity at both local and regional levels, as well as being able to identify and protect conservation high value areas in the city. This methods would also require going ‘green’, and stimulating awareness amongst the citizenry as regards their orientation towards biodiversity.
Dublin has over 750 public parks and green spaces, covering an estimated 1400 hectares of land. Private gardens make up one-quarter of the city’s land mass. Due to its propensity for harbouring invasive species as a result of too many pathways that lead into the city, the Dublin City Council is saddled with the responsibility of monitoring and controlling the influx of invasive alien species of living organisms. The National Biodiversity Data Centre (NBDC), is the national organization in charge of collating, managing, analyzing, and disseminating data on Ireland’s biodiversity.
In line with the outcome of UNESCO’s review of the Dublin Bay Biosphere sometime between 2012 and 2014, the Dublin Bay Biosphere Partnership has been established for the management of the Dublin Bay Biosphere Reserve. The Partnership/MOU consists of Dublin City Council, Fingal County Council, Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council, Dublin Port Company, and the National Parks and Wildlife Service.
In all, the Dublin City Biodiversity Action Plan is not just restricted to the preservation of biodiversity in Dublin City alone. It is actually part of a grand objective to conserve the global biodiversity.
am a wildlife photographer based in Co. Wicklow, Ireland, who has an
affinity for Ireland's landscape and wildlife. The magic of Ireland is
truly evoked in the marriage of landscape and light.
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.