Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Questions (136)

Denis Naughten


136. Deputy Denis Naughten asked the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht the number of farmers in the National Parks and Wildlife Service corncrake scheme that ceased in April 2013; his plans to introduce a new scheme; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [29510/13]

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Written answers (Question to Arts)

Since 2007, a total of 139 farm plans aimed at corncrake conservation have been approved by the National Parks and Wildlife Service of my Department. Most of these plans were in the Shannon Callows. These plans last five years and currently there are still 30 plans operational, and these contracts are being honoured.

As the Shannon Callows corncrake population has all but disappeared due to a succession of summer floods, my Department is focussing its limited resources in the following Special Protection Areas in Donegal and Mayo, where significant numbers of corncrakes still occur:- Malin Head;- Fanad Head;- Falcaragh to Meenlaragh;- Mullet Peninsula.

In addition, a Corncrake Grant Scheme is available to farmers anywhere, who have corncrakes breeding on their lands. My Department will continue to work with the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine on appropriate agri-environment measures for threatened species such as the corncrake.