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Wildlife Conservation

Dáil Éireann Debate, Tuesday - 14 December 2021

Tuesday, 14 December 2021

Questions (276, 277, 280, 281, 282, 284, 286, 287, 288, 289)

Louise O'Reilly

Question:

276. Deputy Louise O'Reilly asked the Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage if his Department or the National Parks and Wildlife Service will publish the analysis of the results of the 2021 National Survey of Urban Gulls that it commissioned in the period May to June 2021 in time for its customary annual public consultation on derogation declarations for the 2021-2022 declarations in order that contributors to the public consultation who live in areas impacted by high density urban seagull colonies may be fully informed of the survey results and of derogation options; and if his Department or the National Parks and Wildlife Service will ensure that its analysis of the survey results includes substantive correlation to the first interim and minority reports submitted in April 2020 and the recommendations of the consultative committee on urban seagulls in particular but not exclusively the reports’ recommendations regarding the interests of public health and safety. [61386/21]

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Louise O'Reilly

Question:

277. Deputy Louise O'Reilly asked the Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage if his Department and the National Parks and Wildlife Service will ensure when publishing its analysis of the National Survey of Urban Gulls that it commissioned in the period May to June 2021 that it includes in its analysis particular reference to the evidence it holds on the negative impacts on communities from proliferating high density seagull colonies, the expert advices that it has received via the consultative committee on urban seagulls since 2019, including legal advices and the legitimate interests of public health and safety which can be addressed in derogation declarations. [61387/21]

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Louise O'Reilly

Question:

280. Deputy Louise O'Reilly asked the Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage if he will address a series of matters (details supplied) with reference to the 2021 National Survey of Urban Seagulls commissioned by his Department and the National Parks and Wildlife Service. [61390/21]

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Louise O'Reilly

Question:

281. Deputy Louise O'Reilly asked the Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage if he will address a series of matters (details supplied) with reference to the 2021 National Survey of Urban Seagulls commissioned by his Department and the National Parks and Wildlife Service. [61391/21]

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Louise O'Reilly

Question:

282. Deputy Louise O'Reilly asked the Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage if he will address a series of matters (details supplied) with reference to the 2021 National Survey of Urban Seagulls commissioned by his Department and the National Parks and Wildlife Service and the Seabird 2000 Census Report 2002. [61392/21]

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Louise O'Reilly

Question:

284. Deputy Louise O'Reilly asked the Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage if he will address a series of matters (details supplied) with reference to the 2021 National Survey of Urban Seagulls commissioned by his Department and the National Parks and Wildlife Service; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [61394/21]

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Louise O'Reilly

Question:

286. Deputy Louise O'Reilly asked the Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage if the Dublin survey only covered a limited number of areas with reference to the National Survey of Urban Gulls commissioned by his Department and the National Parks and Wildlife Service; and the names of Dublin city districts and suburbs that were actually included in the national survey and the apparently occupied nest totals for each surveyed location. [61396/21]

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Louise O'Reilly

Question:

287. Deputy Louise O'Reilly asked the Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage the locations and suburbs in Dublin that yielded the total of 770 apparently occupied nests with reference to the National Survey of Urban Gulls commissioned by his Department and the National Parks and Wildlife Service and with particular reference to the survey results for Dublin; and if these were actual nest sightings. [61397/21]

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Louise O'Reilly

Question:

288. Deputy Louise O'Reilly asked the Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage if he will address a series of matters (details supplied) with reference to the 2021 National Survey of Urban Seagulls commissioned by his Department and the National Parks and Wildlife Service. [61398/21]

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Louise O'Reilly

Question:

289. Deputy Louise O'Reilly asked the Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage if he will address a series on matters in relation to the urban gull population (details supplied). [61399/21]

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Written answers (Question to Housing)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 276, 277, 280 to 282, inclusive, 284 and 286 to 289, inclusive, together.

My Department undertook the National Urban Gull Survey in 2021 as part of a wider seabird surveying collaboration with the UK known as Seabirds Count. The published report, enclosed for convenience, sets out the spatial focus of the surveys (Figures 2 and 4), including for a number of specific towns. In addition, Dublin City Centre and adjacent coastal suburbs also received additional survey effort.

This has allowed modelling work to be undertaken to derive preliminary estimates of the gull populations in the seven focal towns. This preliminary analysis focused on estimating the size of the breeding gull population, i.e. Apparently Occupied Nests (AON) and enables the quantification of gulls nesting in these towns. This will allow my Department to continue to work with stakeholders and communities with a view to reducing any conflict issues.

The analysis of the Irish and UK data is ongoing for the relevant gull species, as well as for other breeding seabird species; it is intended to derive population estimates at the country scale, for the Seabirds Count publication due in 2023. Comparisons of historical data of Herring Gull populations will be part of the overall analysis and reporting under the Seabirds Count initiative.

The recent European Red List of Birds uses the IUCN Red List Categories and Criteria and has classified the extinction risk of Herring Gull at the European level as ‘Least Concern’, an improvement from the previous assessment of ‘Near Threatened'.

2021 National Survey of Urban Gulls

Question No. 277 answered with Question No. 276.
Question No. 278 answered with Question No. 266.
Question No. 279 answered with Question No. 266.
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