A city council has introduced proposals for tackling invasive alien animals and plants, which are estimated to cost the economy over €2m a year.
Dublin City Council claims it is the first local authority in Ireland to produce an invasive alien species action plan.
It aims to take on the spread of problematic foreign species such as Japanese knotweed, Himalayan balsam, and American mink.
The council yesterday said such alien species have a “wide-ranging and destructive” impact on the economy, indigenous ecology, and on health.
“The impacts of invasive alien species in terms of degradation of our environment and damage to economic interests necessitate that we recognise invasive alien species management as a key issue for the sustainable development of Dublin,” said assistant chief executive Brendan Kenny.
“The fact that Dublin Bay recently achieved Unesco biosphere status makes it all the more imperative that invasive alien species are given high priority as they are a real and increasing threat to our city and biodiversity,” he said.
One example offered of the impact of an invasive alien species is the grey squirrel, which was introduced to Ireland in Longford in 1911, but has now spread and ousted the native red squirrel from the environs of the capital.
Among the main recommendations of the draft plan is the implementation of strict biosecurity codes of practice to limit the introduction and spread of alien species, and the introduction of remediation measures for native biodiversity affected by alien species.
The public is also to be warned against releasing unwanted pets, particularly exotic animals, into the wild.
The draft Invasive Alien Species Action Plan for Dublin City 2016-2020 is open for submissions from the public. It can be viewed at bit.ly/ InvasiveAlienPlan and at Dublin’s Civic Offices, Wood Quay, until February 12.
Submissions can be made in writing to firstname.lastname@example.org by post to Dublin City Council.
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