South Down Councillor Cadogan Enright Party has expressed his concern at the declining population of the Irish Hare in Co. Down.
Cllr Enright said “According to the Irish Hare Survey 2009 there are only approximately 3400 Irish Hares in Co. Down. Only Co. L’Derry has a lower population than this meaning that Co. Down has one of the lowest numbers in all of Ireland. The survey suggests there has been a significant decline in the number of hares counted this year in N. Ireland, showing a fall of around 60% on the Northern Ireland 2007 count.”
He has expressed disapointment at the DUP’s Environment Minister Edwin Poots on his decision to renew the Special Protection Order only temporarily for one year.
Downpatrick Cllr Cadogan Enright said, “This is totally inadequate. Temporary Special Protection Orders have been issued annually since 2003 and although temporary protection orders are better than nothing, I can see no reason why the Environment Minister should not implement a permanent protection order. It is however worth pointing out that the Northern Ireland Assembly is about to consider new wildlife legislation which presents a great opportunity to give this vulnerable species permanent protection.”
“It is a very rare and special sight to see an Irish hare in the countryside around Co. Down. It is for this reason that I believe every effort must be made to conserve and protect the Irish hare from the threats it faces as a species.”
“Permanent protection for the Irish Hare is the only way that the government can prove that it is serious in its efforts to protect our natural environment,” concluded Cllr Enright.
Press Cuttings: Irish hare decline in Downpatrick says Enright