The Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht has a role in relation to the conservation of habitats and species which is achieved in part through the designation of Special Areas of Conservation (SAC), Special Protection Areas (SPA) and Natural Heritage Areas (NHAs) under EU and national legislation.

These were the sentiments expressed by the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Josepha Madigan, during Dáil proceedings last month.

Also Read: SACs: What are they and who gets compensated?

She was asked by Deputy Thomas Pringle (Independent) if her department has responsibility for, and or, an obligation under its statutory responsibilities for species and habitat management to take a proactive role in the protection of fauna from harmful levels of predation by other species.

Madigan pointed out that her department worked with farmers, landowners and local authorities to “achieve the best balance possible” between farming and land-use on the one hand, and requirements for conserving nature in these selected areas, on the other.

Details of these conservation areas are provided on the website of the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS): at

She continued: “My department has also a role in relation to the conservation of habitats and species under the European Communities (Birds and Natural Habitats) Regulations 2011 and the Wildlife Acts 2016 to 2018.

“There is a facility under Section 42 of the Wildlife Acts whereby permission may be obtained on a case-by-case basis to prevent serious damage caused by certain animals and species.

“Such damage could include damage to other fauna.”