Mooney Goes Wild

    Sunday, 10pm-11pm, RTÉ Radio 1

    Mooney Goes Wild, Sunday May 24th 2015


    Mooney Goes Wild

    Derek Mooney and guests explore the natural world in all its forms.

    On Mooney Goes Wild tonight...

    Dr. Matthew Jebb, from the National Botanic Gardens, tells us all about the 'werewolf' plant, Ephedra foeminea, which only blooms under the full moon. Ken Whelan tells us about his trip to the Adriatic, in search of the soft-mouth trout. Sinéad Renshaw brings us all this week's nature news, and reporter Terry Flanagan meets some of Ireland's Young Environmentalists...


    Mooney Goes Wild - Programme Podcast 24/05/15

    Visit for full details on all the items discussed on tonight's show!

    World's First 'Werewolf' Plant

    There are many theories about the effect of a full moon. It can, apparently, send you mad – indeed the very word ‘lunacy’ stems from the Latin word for moon, ‘luna’. Most of those theories have been discredited by science. But according to new research from a couple of Swedish scientists, there’s one particular plant that waits for the full moon to bloom, and it’s the only plant species so far known to behave like this. Even more amazingly, this plant, the Ephedra foeminea will only bloom at the July full moon each year. We actually have this plant at the Botanic Gardens in Dublin, and Matthew Jebb, who is the Director of the National Botanic Gardens, joins us in studio to tell us more about it …

    The droplet can be seen on the top of the yellow part in the centre of the Ephedra procera, a plant very similar to the Ephedra foeminia, which only blooms under the full moon in July

    Dr. Matthew Jebb with a specimen of the Ephedra procera, a plant very similar to the Ephedra foeminia, which only blooms under the full moon in July


    Sinéad's Nature News

    Mooney Goes Wild's Sinéad Renshaw is back in studio with a round-up of all this week's nature news, including how a small waterfall in Leitrim with accompanying birdsong has soothed almost eight million YouTube viewers worldwide, and why carrion crows thrive when they are joined in the nest by cuckoos!

    To view Johnnie Lawson's video of the River Bonet in Leitrim, click below: 


    In Search Of The Soft-Mouth Trout

    Trout is one of the most popular fiction Ireland, both in terms of popularity with anglers, and popularity with foodies! Your average local fish counter will inevitably be stocked with decent quantities of sea trout and freshwater rainbow trout. But like most things, the species we find in our supermarkets represent only a fraction of the species in the waterways of the world.

    Marble Trout

    In the United States alone, you have the Little Kern golden trout, the Apache trout, and the Wild tiger trout. Then there is the Mexican golden trout, further south. And in Ireland of course, we have the brown trout, as well as the familiar sea trout and rainbow trout.

    Marine biologist Ken Whelan knows his trout inside out! And he's about to head over to the other side of the European continent, to Croatia and Bosnia, in search of the very rare Soft-Mouth trout. He joins us in studio to explain more...


    Young Environmentalist Awards

    Biodiversity Week has just started and one of the main events of this week is the annual ECO – UNESCO, Young Environmentalist Awards ceremony which has just taken place in the Mansion House here in Dublin.

    This year, 81 groups were selected from almost 4,000 individuals throughout the country, and they made their way to Dublin for the occasion.

    The level of dedication, innovation and environmental awareness demonstrated by these young people throughout the year was phenomenal, and the event recognizes and rewards those that carry out local environmental action programmes.

    So who was the overall winner this year? We sent Terry Flanagan to find out...

    To learn more about the variety of events taking place all over country for Biodiversity Week, visit

    Hedgerows: It is an offence to 'cut, grub, burn or otherwise destroy hedgerows on uncultivated land during the nesting season from 1 March to 31 August, subject to certain exceptions'. For more information, click here.

    To contact your local wildlife ranger, click here for contact details. To read the Wildlife (Amendment) Act 2000, click here.


    Please DO NOT send any live, dead or skeletal remains of any creature whatsoever to Mooney Goes Wild.

    If you find an injured animal or bird, please contact the National Parks & Wildlife Service on 1890 20 20 21, or BirdWatch Ireland, on 01 281-9878, or visit


    If you require a CD copy of this programme please e-mail or click here for RTÉ Archives sales form. Transfer fees and terms and conditions apply.

    Music Played on the Show

    • 22:36
      Title: Far Afghanistan
      Performer(s): James Taylor
      Performer(s): James Taylor
      Album: Before This World
      Duration: 4:16
    • 22:40
      Title: Snowtime
      Performer(s): James Taylor
      Performer(s): James Taylor
      Album: Before This World
      Duration: 5:58

    Mooney Goes Wild

    Latest Show

    Mooney Goes Wild on Twitter

    Presenter: Derek Mooney

    Schedule Open Schedule