It’s been recommended to paint rocks with yogurt to protect the Kerry slug.
The plan came to light during the second day of An Bord Pleanála’s oral hearing into the proposed South Kerry Greenway, which has arisen following a failure between Kerry County Council and some landowners to come to an agreement over land acquisition.
This afternoon, members of An Bord Pleanála questioned Kerry County Council and subcontractors on issues contained in the Environmental Impact Assessment Report.
An Bord Pleanála ecologist Dr Maeve Flynn sought further information on measures to protect the Kerry slug, in the event of the animal having to be moved during construction.
Pat Ryan of Malachy Walsh and Partners said when the Environmental Impact Assessment Report was compiled, it was recommended to fully paint sandstone rocks with yogurt in order to encourage early colonisation in new areas with moss and lichen, two ingredients in a slug’s diet.
Dr Flynn asked is the plan to paint rocks fully with yogurt a novel idea or something the National Parks and Wildlife Service suggested; Mr Ryan said a leading ecologist recommended it.
He added that the current plan would require 50% of rocks to be painted with yogurt, with a three-year programme of monitoring to take place.
The environmental report also said four surveys of the Kerry slug population were conducted from 2014-2018: in the first year, seven Kerry slugs were found at Mountain Stage and, while other surveys recorded fewer slugs, the existence of favourable habitats were noted.
Elsewhere, Inspector Karla McBride noted her concerns about possible erosion due to the greenway being close to shore at a number of areas; the local authority claimed the waves are not strong enough to cause excessive erosion in those areas to merit changing the proposed route.