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Biodiversity Descreasing

28/05/2007

Ireland's biodiversity is currently decreasing. It is now generally agreed among Ireland's scientists that the possibility of achieving

the International Deadline of 2010 to stop biodiversity loss is impossible. The current rate of loss has not even been estimated, but it is mainly attributed to habitat destruction in Ireland.
Other causes are the introduction of alien plants and animals into the country. And this is before the impact of the predicted climate change, which will certainly change our flora and fauna distribution.
The Habitats Directive of 1998 (available on-line for the Dept. of the Environment) was brought in by the EU to act as a guideline for habitat preservation. Admittedly it is a difficult directive to implement in that it often cuts across social traditions in Ireland and can be seen as a block to economic development. However, these should be seen as short term difficulties. Its successful implementation would be manifest in a better managed landscape. The basis of managing the landscape is management of our habitats. Managing our habitats maintains and even increases our biodiversity.
The Irish Tourist Industry will crumble if our landscape and its habitats are not preserved. Most of us are aware of some local bog, woodland or hedgerow habitat being removed within the last five years. Most of this destruction is unintentional and arises because of a lack of education and awareness of the value of habitats. Habitats are places where plants and animals live; remove the habitat and these plants and animals die. It is as simple as that. Even with this basic understanding to the fore, it is unlikely that the owners of a new house will remove the hedging to erect a fence. Yet hundredths of kilometers of hedgerow are removed each year as new houses are erected.
Tell your TD about your concern over habitat destruction in your area and add your voice to the Forum section of Biology.ie on Habitats.