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Our Wildlife Acts (1976-2000) prohibit, from March 1 to August 31, the burning of any vegetation within our State.
The Act of 2000 provides no derogations during the ‘closed period’. All wild birds ‘in the natural state’ are protected from interference during breeding and nesting and roosting and resting.
March, April, May and June are critical periods for our resident and visiting birds. On Saturday, March 21, nine major fires were visible from Kilbarry Hill (5km east of Inchigeelagh) and they burned through Sunday, March 22.
Upland and lowland mountain fires have been witnessed in the interim. On behalf of Macroom District Environmental Group, and in our 30th year, I appeal to Irish Examiner readers to contact the 24-hour LoCall 1850 365 121 helpline operated by our Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Callers need not furnish any personal details.
We decry this vandalism — this widespread and lawless torching of our surviving pockets of semi-wilderness represents nothing short of depravity.
Climate change apart, the alarming decline in our wild-bird population, across the Upper Lee catchment and basin, must be attributable to habitat destruction by fire — in addition to hedgerow disturbance during the nesting season.
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