Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Questions (485)

Clare Daly

Question:

485. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht if he will take action to save Killarney National Park oak woods by instructing the National Parks and Wildlife Service to follow the work of volunteers who systematically cleared the area of rhododendrons, which are now beginning to seed again and undermine the work of thousands of volunteers. [23346/14]

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Written answers (Question to Arts)

My Department carries out an annual targeted programme in Ireland’s National Parks to manage the invasive species referred to, which, in some areas, has replaced native shrub and grows in dense thickets, thereby excluding native vegetation and limiting natural tree regeneration. The extent of the problem varies from property to property and, having regard to the very dynamic nature of this invasive species, my Department's targeted management programme is routinely monitored and adjusted with a view to ensuring optimum efficacy. The work involved is carried out by outside specialist companies, staff of my Department and, in some cases, by volunteer groups under staff direction and supervision.

My Department will continue to invest in this important programme of work with a view to creating conditions in our National Parks that are conducive to the protection and re-establishment of native species and, particularly, our native woodlands. To this end, my Department is reviewing current practice to ensure the most effective use of the available resources.