Mooney Goes Wild

    Sunday, 10am-11am, RTÉ Radio 1


    From Sunday, July 26th, for five weeks, Mooney Goes Wild will be broadcast live between 10am and 11am. A new five-part series, Mooney Goes Wild - Habitats, will be broadcast on Sunday nights from 10pm-11pm.

    Mooney Goes Wild is repeated on Friday (RTÉ Radio 1, 4am-5am), and Saturday (RTÉ Radio 1 Extra, 10am-11am)

    Mooney Goes Wild - Habitats is repeated on Thursday (RTÉ Radio 1, 10pm-11pm), 


    Twitter: @naturerte

    Mooney Goes Wild, Sunday August 2nd 2015

    On Mooney Goes Wild this morning...

    Derek is joined by regular panellists Richard Collins and Eanna ni Lamhna, along with our resident marine biologist, to chat about why the Loch Ness monster may really just be a wels catfish. We learn why some fish are brightly coloured and others are dull. Eanna reports on a family of badgers moving home, Derek and Niall Hatch visit North County Dublin to find out about gulls and rubbish bins, we have the best of your mosquito bite prevention tips that came in during the week, and Terry Flanagan responds to one very special Answering Machine Mission, when he is called on to investigate a dormouse sighting!

    Gulls Follow Up

    During the week, listener Nick sent us a postcard about gulls nesting between chimneys in a neighbourhood, enraging the locals who can’t persuade the homeowners to take action.  And he wondered: can anything be done about it?  Derek went to the North Dublin coast with Niall Hatch, Development Officer with BirdWatch Ireland to find out...

    Bird scarers on roof

    Bird scarers on roof

    Gull on roof of car

    Niall Hatch of BirdWatch Ireland

    Mystery Of Loch Ness Monster Solved?

    If someone was to mention Scotland to you, what would you think of?  Haggis, highland flings and Nessie would probably come pretty close to the top of the list.  First written about in the 7th century, when the Irish saint Columba was said to have had a personal encounter with Nessie, there’s been a sizeable tourist industry built around Scotland’s legendary Loch Ness monster since 1933, when the famous Surgeon’s Photo was published, purporting to show the long neck of Nessie emerging from the water.

    The iconic Surgeon's Photograph image

    That photo was since proved to be a fake.  But what of the so-called monster?

    Steve in his converted library van on the shores of Loch Ness

    One man who knows more about the Loch Ness monster than most is Steve Feltham.  In 1991, he left his job, his home and his girlfriend to move to into a van on the side of the lake to look for the Loch Ness monster.  Now, 25 years later, he believes that the monster *may* possibly be a wels catfish, a massive fish that can grow to four metres in length – but he’s not moving anywhere just yet…

    A wels catfish

    Steve joins us on the line now from Loch Ness, to tell us why he thinks it may be a wels catfish, and Ken Whelan explains a bit more about this behemoth of creature - and the risks it can pose to other aqautic creatures... To learn more about Steve, and his passion for searching for what may lie beneath Loch Ness, visit

    A wels catfish

    Colouration Variation Within Fish

    If you're ever lucky enough to have gone snorkelling or diving on holiday, you'll know what a thrill it is to swim alongside an aquatic rainbow of brightly coloured tropical fish.  Walk into any petshop, and immediately you'll be drawn to the beautiful variety of iridescent fish in blues, yellows, golds. But why is it when we go to the fishmongers, the fish there are generally dull, neutral colours? Why are some fish brightly coloured and others not? What is the evolutionary purpose of colour?

    That's something that's fascinated our next guest. Eoin Whelan is a PhD student at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia, where he specialised in researching colour variation within fish. He joins us now from the WHRO Classical studios in Norfolk...

    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

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    Presenter: Derek Mooney

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