BirdWatch Ireland is calling on all voters to tell your local and European election candidates that nature is important to you
On May 9th 2019 Dáil Éireann declared a biodiversity and climate emergency in Ireland. This was a significant step in the process of the political realisation of the scale of biodiversity loss in Ireland and the need for these losses to be halted and reversed. BirdWatch Ireland is concerned that An Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar, said recently that this was a symbolic gesture. We cannot treat the biodiversity and climate emergency like the boy who cried wolf as our very future’s are at stake. We are in a emergency and agree with the Taoiseach that real action is needed now.
The status of some indicators of our biodiversity shows that:
- 2/3 of Ireland’s 202 regularly occurring birds are on the Red and Amber Lists of Birds of Conservation Concern. The Curlew has declined by 96% since the 70’s.
- 40% decline in waterbird species in Ireland in less than 20 years
- 91% of Ireland’s internationally-important habitats (e.g. bogs, grasslands) are in ‘bad’ or ‘inadequate’ condition 
- Ireland has 99 bee species: over a third of these are threatened with extinction
- Butterfly populations have declined by 6% since 2008
- Data from 17 County Hedgerow Surveys show that only 1/3 of hedgerows are in good condition for birds and other wildlife.
BirdWatch Ireland asks voters in advance of the elections on May 24th that if they care about the birds, wild bees, wildflowers, hedgerows, peatlands, rivers, and seas in their locality to please tell your future representatives that you care and that you would like to see more decisive action taken to restore nature and firmly address climate change. Public representatives need to hear these issues on the doorstep for them to feel supported in the serious work they will need to do. The public has an opportunity to ensure that action on biodiversity and climate change is firmly in the future plans of local councillors and representatives of the European Parliament. Transformational change is needed to address losses and this requires the support of the public if we are to hear the call of Curlew again in the Irish countryside, or to maintain the number of pollinator species. Nature needs the help of the public on May 24th.