IRELAND – Among the many fallouts of the Slieve Bloom mooreland and forest fires, still raging across the Laois Offaly mountains, are the many wild bird chicks trapped in ground nests.
They include the rare Hen Harrier bird of prey, a protected species.
Birdwatch Ireland’s Conservation Team member Ricky Whelan, is also the chairman of the Irish Wildlife Trust Laois/Offaly.
He said the situation is grim for rare birds in the mountains.
“Its pretty grim and the last thing these species need,” Mr Whelan told the Leinster Express.
“BirdWatch Ireland would have grave concerns regarding yesterdays fire. The Slieve Blooms Special Protection Area (SPA) is party designated due to its breeding Hen Harrier population and has been the best performing SPA in the country in recent years with regards to producing successful Hen Harrier clutches. Hen Harriers are predominantly a ground nesting species and whilst adult birds can of course move to avoid fire the chicks, many of which will still be in nests are helpless in this situation,” he said.