There have been three prosecutions for wildlife crime in Kerry since 2020.
That’s according to figures from the Department of Housing, which show since January 2020, 143 cases have been recorded in Ireland.
Last year 29 cases nationally were taken by the National Parks and Wildlife Service in relation to wildlife crime, while there were 44 convictions in 2021 and 37 in 2020.
According to the Department of Housing, which is responsible for the NPWS, there have been three prosecutions for wildlife crime in Kerry since January 2020.
Two cases were taken by the NPWS in 2020.
The first was in relation to the destruction of oak woodland under Section 40 and 69 of the Wildlife Acts. A €400 fine was handed down by the courts in this case.
The second prosecution that year was in relation to unauthorised works in a Special Area of Conservation (under Section 35 of the European Communities (Birds and Natural Habitats) Regulations 2011).
In 2021, a prosecution was taken by the NPWS regarding the destruction of vegetation in Kerry.
Both of the latter cases are in hand so no further details can be released at this time.
The NPWS says that a dedicated Director of Wildlife Enforcement and Nature Protection has been established to tackle wildlife crime, and to support the wildlife enforcement work.
The department says as of April 2023, over 471 staff work in the area of natural heritage throughout the NPWS, while additional resources are being recruited across all grades and specialisms in NPWS.