The Irish Raptor Study Group (IRSG) is a voluntary organisation, formed in 1994, that specialises in the deployment of volunteer fieldworkers with highly specialised skills in the identification and survey of raptors (birds of prey). The IRSG main aims are to: (i) promote the conservation and protection of all wild breeding and migratory raptor species and their habitats in Ireland; (ii) encourage research and monitoring of all raptor species and the publication of such work where appropriate; iii) assist Group members with the above and co-ordinate members’ summary results; (iv) circulate the results to outside individuals and bodies, to enhance the conservation of raptors, but only with the prior consent of the individual who collected the initial data; (v) assist members with any licensing requirements etc.; (vi) set up and maintain a confidential nest recording scheme; and (vii) co-operate as necessary with outside individuals, other NGOs and especially the statutory body in the RoI, the National Parks and Wildlife Service, in the furtherance of the above objectives.
This specialist NGO represents a membership of approximately 80 volunteers and professional raptor workers and forms an efficient mechanism, due to their dispersed membership, for the implementation of regional, local and national raptor surveys. The IRSG have been involved in all national surveys to date (including peregrine and hen harrier) and are actively pursuing an All-Ireland Raptor Monitoring Scheme, in collaboration with our partners the Northern Ireland Raptor Study Group, to effectively monitor raptor populations in Ireland.