16 December 2017
By Elaine Murphy
Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Josepha Madigan, T.D. yesterday congratulated the National Parks and Wildlife Service, Cork County Council, BirdWatch Ireland and Glounthaune Community Association for their work on opening the Bird Hide at Harper’s Island.
The Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht will take ownership of Harper’s Island and further develop it with nature conservation and education as its top priority.
Harper’s Island is part of the Great Island Channel SAC/SPA/pNHA. It is extremely important for wintering waterfowl, and the intertidal flats composed of soft muds support a range of macro-invertebrates. Ireland is required under the terms of the EU Birds Directive (2009/147/EC) to designate Special Protection Areas (SPAs) for the protection of endangered species of wild birds, and these wetlands attract large numbers of migratory birds each year.
This is a unique habitat with a high conservation value. The bird hide will provide a viewing place for birdwatchers to experience some of the 50 species of migrating birds throughout the area.
The facility was opened today by Minister of State David Stanton and Cork County Council.
Speaking today Minister of State David Stanton said:
“As the statutory body with responsibility for nature conservation, it is with pride that the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht will take ownership of Harper’s Island and further develop it with nature conservation and education as its top priority. This work will be carried out in conjunction with Cork County Council.
Irish nature as a whole has endless potential, and the opening of this property will make this nature reserve a premier destination in Ireland to experience nature conservation and learn about biodiversity and the importance of protecting our habitats.”