Thursday, 20 June 2019

Questions (83)

Joan Burton


83. Deputy Joan Burton asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform if his Department maintains a comprehensive inventory of wildlife and biodiversity in the Phoenix Park; if so, if it has provided this information to the relevant stakeholders to ensure the draft Phoenix Park visitor experience strategic review does not include plans that infringe on protected species and habitats; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24277/19]

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Written answers (Question to Public)

As part of the Phoenix Park Conservation Management Plan, published in 2011, a habitat survey was undertaken on behalf of the Office Public Works. This Conservation Management Plan, along with various surveys are available on the Phoenix Park website

A variety of surveys have been undertaken in the Phoenix Park on behalf of the OPW over the years generating detailed inventories of wildlife and biodiversity in the Park. These include surveys of birds, bats, bees, deer, mammals, flora, habitats, trees and aquatic species. The OPW maintains these records and shares this information with the relevant stakeholders including the National Biodiversity Data Centre (NBDC).

OPW staff in the Phoenix Park work with many organisations including Birdwatch Ireland, the School of Biology & Environmental Science at University College Dublin and the National Parks & Wildlife Service in relation to the protection of species and their habitats within the Park.

I can confirm that the Phoenix Park Conservation Management Plan and associated surveys were provided to the consultants who produced the Draft Phoenix Park Visitor Experience Strategic Review. I can also confirm that all draft recommendations and proposals contained therein are fully cognisant of the protected species and habitats in the Park and do not infringe on same.

It should be noted that any developments or conservation projects which might arise out of this draft review would be subject to the full statutory planning processes and must comply with the relevant environmental and habitats directives.