Áras an Uachtaráin to undertake biodiversity study
Date: Sun 10th Nov, 2019 | 10:49
President Michael D Higgins has asked the Office of Public Works, which manages the Phoenix Park, to commission a team of ecologists to conduct a detailed, year-long “biodiversity audit” of Áras an Uachtaráin and its grounds, and to make recommendations on positive measures for biodiversity in the future management of the house and grounds.
Over the next 12 months, the team will quantify both habitat and species diversity on the 130-acre site – an area that contains both formal gardens and certified organic kitchen gardens, grasslands, wooded areas and a lake.
The OPW has selected a team of specialists from Trinity College led by biodiversity specialist Professor Jane Stout. Other team members include taxonomic experts Dr Ruth Kelly (plants); Dr Paul Dowding (fungi); Dr Stephanie Maher (insects); Dr Aoibheann Gaughran (mammals); Mr Cian White (birds and insects); and Mr Collie Ennis (reptiles and amphibians).
President Higgins has been interested in the protection of biodiversity for many years, and it was this issue that brought him to the Rio Earth Summit in 1992.
Speaking at the first National Biodiversity Conference in early 2019 he said that we are facing “profound challenges” in terms of threats to our natural environment and that reversing biodiversity loss will require all of us to be leaders within our own spheres of influence.