BY SEÁN P. FEENY
THE Donegal branch of BirdWatch Ireland (BWI) is seeking the support of the tenants of a Gaoth Dobhair commonage to erect a fence to protect nesting birds.
On Monday, September 2, BirdWatch Ireland hosts a public meeting at the GAA hall in Derrybeg (7.30pm) to provide information on a proposed fence at Ard na Gappry.
Anita Donaghy, Senior Conservation Officer/HELP Project Manager with BWI Donegal said the commonage is a very important site for lapwings which nest between April and July.
“Lapwings are ground-nesting birds native to Ireland and their numbers are in serious decline. Currently there are ten pairs at Ard na Gappry.
“Overall the population is down by a third over the past two decades and we are concerned if nothing is done this native species will disappear.”
Ms Donaghy said the main reason for the species’ decline are predators such as mink and foxes. “As these are ground-nesting birds they are very vulnerable to predators.
“The fence we propose to erect is a standard agricultural fence with an electrified wire on the top which would prevent foxes from jumping over it. This has been found to be a very successful solution in parts of the UK and Ireland where it has been introduced.
“We are now seeking the support of the tenants of the Ard na Gappry commonage and that’s why we are hosting this public meeting to get their input and provide further information.”
“Procurement is underway to deliver improvements to the site and works will commence as soon as possible.”