Wednesday, 8 May 2019

Questions (1621)

Joan Burton

Question:

1621. Deputy Joan Burton asked the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht if her attention has been drawn to the recent gorse fires that destroyed hundreds of acres of land around the villages of Loughanure and Annagry, County Donegal; her plans to carry out an evaluation of the destruction of flora, fauna and wildlife as a consequence of these fires; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [20003/19]

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Written answers (Question to Culture)

My Department's National Parks and Wildlife Service is responsible for the implementation of policy and legislation, on a national level, to protect and conserve Ireland's natural heritage and wildlife. In exercising these functions, the NPWS surveys, monitors and assesses designated habitats and species throughout the country regularly and frequently with a view to not only maintaining the current status of our habitats and species but also, where feasible, to put in place practical plans and measures to reverse negative trends of biodiversity loss.

I am aware of the damage caused by recent gorse fires in County Donegal. My understanding is that this fires did not impact designated habitats.

While my Department is not carrying out specific forensic evaluations of the impacts on flora and fauna in the areas affected, officials in the NPWS will work with the relevant lead authorities, where requested, to further the investigations as to the cause of the fires.