|Coastal wetland birds and the EU Birds Directive|
|Merne, O.J. (2005). Coastal wetland birds and the EU Birds Directive, in: Wilson, J.G. (Ed.) (2005). The intertidal ecosystem: the value of Ireland’s shores. pp. 38-44|
|In: Wilson, J.G. (Ed.) (2005). The intertidal ecosystem: the value of Ireland’s shores. Royal Irish Academy: Dublin. ISBN 1-904890-09-1. 206 pp., more|
On 2nd April 1979 the European Communities published a Council Directive on the conservation of wild birds (79/409/EEC), which has become known as the Birds Directive (Official Journal of the European Communities, 1979). Ireland, being a Member State of the European Union, is obliged to implement the Birds Directive here. This Directive is quite short, containing 19 Articles, some of which relate to procedural, administrative and legal matters, e.g. the setting up of a Committee for Adaptation to Technical and Scientific Progress (known as the ORNIS Committee), triennial reporting requirements, amendments to national laws and regulations to ensure compliance with the Directive. There are also Articles relating to the regulation of hunting and trade in wild birds, and to derogations from provisions of the Directive. The Directive relates to the conservation of all species of wild birds naturally occurring in the Member States, and there is a strong emphasis on maintaining a favourable conservation status for these species and their various habitats. Annex I of the Directive lists species which, because of their rarity or vulnerability, require special conservation measures concerning their habitat. Article 4 of the Directive requires that Member States establish a network of Special Protection Areas (SPAs) for the needs of these species. The SPA network should apply also to regularly occurring migratory species not listed in Annex I and to internationally important bird concentrations, and particular emphasis is placed on the need to protect wetlands, especially those of international importance for birds. The SPAs must be protected from significant pollution, deterioration of habitat and disturbance to birds. The Directive has been transposed into Irish law.