The deer in Phoenix Park should be culled to help rewild the park, the Irish Wildlife Trust has said.
Fallow deer have lived in the park for centuries and many visitors love to see them roaming wild.
Despite this, Pádraic Fogarty says they are harming the environment around them.
“One of the reasons for that is that we fear there are too many deer,” he told The Hard Shoulder.
“People may not notice this but the deer actually eat any new tree saplings so we can’t get new tree generation.
“Also, the deer eat all the flowers and that means you get very few insects, you get very few butterflies and very few birds because the habitat isn’t there for them.”
Fallow deer are not native to Ireland and Mr Fogarty says red deer would do less damage to other wildlife.
“It would be better to see native red deer in the park,” he added.
“So maybe not get rid of them entirely but reduce them severely and replace them with Irish deer.”
Last month, world leaders met in Montreal to discuss the huge loss of biodiversity across the planet.
Mr Fogarty believes that Phoenix Park is an ideal place to start addressing the crisis.
“Green spaces have an enormous role in addressing the biodiversity crisis, they can teach an awful lot of people about native biodiversity,” he said.
“And the Phoenix Park falls down on that at the moment.
“So red deer would do a better job.”
Mr Fogarty admits that the deer are “hugely popular” but said changes to the park could be popular as well.
“We’d like to see the park rewilded to a certain extent,” he said.
“It’s surprising really, there’s no native woodland in the park - or at least very little of it - and why would that be?
“In many ways, they try and keep it as a version of what it was in the 17th century and there’s no reason why we couldn’t adjust that and change it for the times we live in and I think give people a much richer experience of nature when they do visit.”
Main image: Fallow deer seen in Dublin's Phoenix Park in 2010. Image: Patrick Swan/Zuma Press/PA Images