Birdwatch Ireland has called for the Citizens' Assembly to examine the issue of biodiversity loss.

The organisation's assistant head of policy and advocacy, Oonagh Duggan, said despite a previous commitment for the Assembly to look at the issue no action had been taken.

Ms Duggan also said the single biggest complaint that Birdwatch Ireland received was about hedge cutting during nesting season.

Speaking at a hearing of the Oireachtas Committee on Culture Heritage and the Gaeltacht, she said it was very difficult for the National Parks and Wildlife Service to get convictions for the activity.

Senator Fintan Warfield of Sinn Féin welcomed a call by Bridwatch Ireland to repeal the Heritage Act which has been criticised for extending the period during which vegetation can be burned. 

Responding to Éamon Ó Cuív of Fianna Fáil, Birdwatch Ireland's Dr Anita Donaghy said current Government policy was in favour of intensification of agriculture - which has been blamed for contributing to the decline in the bird population.