Deer Management Planning

NPWS are responsible for deer management in Irish national parks

Glenveagh National Park is the only national park with a written deer management plan. The Glenveagh plan was requested by FOI. See below for details

“In Glenveagh National Park, the management of red deer must now be regarded as integral to the process of achieving biodiversity objectives throughout the National Park as a whole. At the current population density, red deer are having no discernible negative impacts on upland Blanket Bog habitats and a negligible impact on woodland regeneration. These conditions can only be maintained if deer density and other ecological indicators are persistently monitored. Management objectives can then be reviewed and modified if deemed necessary. As a keystone species, red deer can have either positive or negative effects on a range of habitats and their dependent species but this is entirely dependent on a range of variables. Many of these effects, particularly those on birds, vertebrates, insects and invertebrates have never been fully scientifically assessed and the loss, damage or benefits to ecosystem function have never been effectively measured. Therefore, if biodiversity and management objectives are to be successfully achieved, there needs to be a sea-change in the way in which deer management is both perceived and implemented within NPWS.”