Thursday, 9 May 2019

Questions (174)

Bernard Durkan

Question:

174. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht the extent to which the landrail corncrake remains protected; the estimated number remaining; the degree to which their natural habitat remains protected; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [20305/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Culture)

The corncrake is being protected by a number of measures operated by my Department and under the GLAS scheme operated by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine.

My Department publishes a report annually on the population of the corncrake and the work carried out. The 2018 Corncrake Conservation report is available at

https://www.npws.ie/sites/default/files/general/corncrake-report-2018.pdf

As the corncrake is a very secretive species, the population is best assessed by counting the male birds calling at night. 151 calling males were confirmed in Ireland during the 2018 breeding season and this is the first recorded increase since 2014. Donegal remains the national stronghold, with 90 confirmed calling males (60% of the national total). West Connacht, which comprises the western seaboards of counties Mayo and Galway, held 59 males (39% of the total). Following a series of flooding events in the 2000s, the corncrake has regrettably disappeared from the Shannon Callows.

Conservation measures in 2018, as in previous years, included habitat management and the administration of grant schemes. Over 640 ha of land were entered in one of four NPWS and DAFM schemes in 2018.