‘Star Wars Episode VII’ Filming Angers Wildlife Experts On Remote Irish Island

Star Wars Episode VII continues filming in and around England, moving to an Irish island called Skellig Michael. However, J.J. Abrams and his cast and crew have come under attack from wildlife experts that question the timing of their visit.

Abrams is bringing part of his cast and crew to the remote island, Skellig Michael, for about three days to continue with the Star Wars Episode VII production. But the move has angered wildlife experts, who insist that the visit may disturb breeding patterns for local species of birds.

Skellig Michael is a remote, unpopulated island located in the Iveragh Peninsula in County Kerry, Ireland. During the month of July, the colonies of native birds that inhabit the island are in the breeding process.

“It would have been preferable if filming took place out of the breeding season, in September, when I believe it was originally scheduled”, Birdwatch Ireland’s Dr. Steve Newton told Radio Kerry. “It seems a little inappropriate to do it during July.”

It is expected that Abrams will be at the UNESCO World Heritage Site until Wednesday, but the quick visit isn’t putting ornithologists and wildlife groups at ease. In response to the complaints, the Irish Film Board head said Star Wars Episode VII had been “designed specifically to avoid disturbance of breeding birds” and was approved by the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS).

According to the Irish Independent via the Telegraph, negotiations to allow Star Wars Episode VII to film on the island began more than six months ago. However, approval from the NPWS was only requested in the last few weeks.

Skellig Michael island.

Another unintended group affected by the filming of Star Wars Episode VII on Skellig Michael is that of the boat operators, who charter tourists who visit the island between May and September. According to the report, there are 14 boats that take tourists back and forth while they visit the area on foot.

The local boat operators have been compensated for their losses, due to the interruption in the transfer of tourists. However, chances are they will be helping with the commute of some Hollywood A-listers.

The filming of Star Wars Episode VII continues in Pinewood Studios in London, Abu Dhabi, and Iceland. After suffering a setback when original cast member Harrison Ford broke a leg on set, it seems that things are moving along before a scheduled break in August to allow Ford to recover from his surgery.

[Image via Bing]