Mooney Goes Wild

    Sunday, 10pm-11pm, RTÉ Radio 1


    Sunday 22nd November

    Growing Older Without Feeling Old

    Has the first person who’ll live to be 1,000 already been born? Could we all live at least 135? One of the world’s leading experts on ageing is Professor Rudi Westendorp, of the University of Copenhagen, whose book 'Growing Older Without Feeling Old' has recently been published, and Rudi joins us from the BBC Western House studios in London…

    Winter Visitors To Mayo

    The Mullet peninsula in north west Mayo is a nationally important site for wintering waterfowl, especially for Whooper swans and Barnacle geese.  Recently, our reporter Terry Flanagan headed to the west to meet up with Dave Suddaby, Conservation Officer at BirdWatch Ireland, to see the first of these winter arrivals...

    GM Salmon Safe For Consumption

    For the first time in history, a genetically-modified organism has been deemed fit to eat.  The food in question is salmon - so we asked our resident marine biologist, Dr. Ken Whelan, to come in and explain how significant a step this is...

    We Want Your Starling Murmurations!

    On Dec 27th, we’ll bring you a really special programme all about starlings - and we want you to get involved! We want you to tell us about starling murmurations in your area - e-mail, and one of our reporters may travel to wherever you are to witness this spectacular sight!

    Mooney Goes Wild - Programme Podcast 22/11/15

    On MGW tonight: We Want Your Starling Murmurations!; GM Salmon Safe For Consumption; Winter Visitors To Mayo; Growing Older Without Feeling Old

    Sunday 15th November

    Global Warming

    Global temperatures are set to rise more than one degree above pre-industrial levels, but what will this mean for our flora & fauna? Terry Flanagan reports from the National Botanic Gardens, and we chat to Botanic Gardens' Director Matthew Jebb & zoology lecturer Dr Tom Reed from UCC...

    All Change For Orcas At SeaWorld?

    SeaWorld has announced changes to its' theatrical orca show in San Diego - but it is enough? We hear from PETA's Kirsty Henderson, and from Dr. Simon Berrow, founder member of the Irish Whale & Dolphin Group

    Mooney Goes Wild - Programme Podcast 15/11/15

    On MGW tonight: All Change For Orcas At SeaWorld?; Global Warming

    Sunday 8th November

    Crayfish In Cavan

    In Cavan, hundreds of ‘White-Clawed Crayfish’ have been wiped out recently and preliminary tests suggest that ‘Crayfish Plague’ could be the cause. Our reporter Terry Flanagan went to Co. Cavan where he met Dr Brian Nelson, who’s an Invertebrate Ecologist at the National Parks and Wildlife Service...

    Ireland Bucks Trend Of Plummeting Puffin Numbers

    For the very first time, puffins are at risk of being completely wiped out, with plummeting populations worldwide - but in Ireland, numbers are remaining steady. So could this country become a precious sanctuary for the endangered Atlantic puffin? Niall Hatch, Development Officer with BirdWatch Ireland, joins us in studio to explain more...

    University Of Oxford's Entrance Questions

    When it comes to biological sciences, Martin Speight (Associate Professor of Zoology at the University of Oxford) devises key questions which decide the fate of thousands of hopeful candidates. He tells us more about the application process, and we find out if Richard and Eanna would make pass the Oxford interview!

    Mooney Goes Wild - Programme Podcast 08/11/15

    On MGW tonight: University Of Oxford's Entrance Questions, Ireland Bucks Trend Of Plummeting Puffin Numbers and Crayfish In Cavan

    Sunday 1st November

    Vampire Bird

    Have you ever heard of the vampire finch of the Galapagos islands? It occasionally feeds by drinking the blood of other birds, chiefly the blue-footed boobies, pecking at their skin with their sharp beaks until blood is drawn. Ornithologist Eric Dempsey joins us on the line to describe for us this most remarkable bird...

    Sea Sparkle In Kerry

    A sea that glows in the dark might sound like wild imaginings on a haunting Hallowe'en night, but in fact they're just some of the paranormal-like sightings within the natural world - one of which has recently been reported off the Kerry coast, and people have been flocking there in their droves just to catch a glimpse of it. Kevin Flannery, Director of Dingle's Oceanworld Aquarium, is in our Kerry studio to tell us more about it...

    Seeing Through The Eyes Of Animals

    if you could choose to be any creature on Earth, what would you be? Ever wondered what it would be like to live in their world, and see their surroundings as they do? Dr. Jolyon Troscianko from the University of Exeter has developed an application that converts images to show the way various animals might view their surroundings

    Bat Vision

    Prof Emma Teeling, Associate Professor at the School of Biology & Environment Science at UCD & Founding Director of the BatLab at UCD, joins us in studio to chat about a new bat family, and about their work researching how bats view the world...

    Mooney Goes Wild - Programme Podcast 01/11/15

    On MGW tonight: Bat Vision; Seeing Through The Eyes Of Animals; Sea Sparkle In Kerry; Vampire Bird

    Sunday 25th October

    Purpose Of Crow Funerals

    It’s long been observed that crows gather around their dead - but why? Is this some kind of avian funeral ritual? Could it be to grieve a fallen friend or family member – or to learn more about how they died? PhD student Kaeli Swift, from the University of Washington in Seattle, has been researching crow funerals and joins us from the USA...

    Urban Beekeeping: Goatstown

    Kieran Harnett is a professional photographer, who’s taken to beekeeping with such enthusiasm that he could now make a living from it too! He has 30 beehives which he keeps in different locations around Dublin during the season, and we sent Eanna ni Lamhna to go and meet him at his home in Goatstown...

    Rwandan Gorilla Census

    In Africa, it is hoped that a new census of mountain gorillas in the Virunga Massif will help to safeguard both the critically endangered great ape, and its fragile habitat. The census is being led by a number of groups through the International Gorilla Conservation Programme, and the Director of the Programme, Anna Behm Masozera, joins us on the line now from Rwanda...

    Competition: Win A Copy Of 'The Natural History Book'!

    Fancy a copy of Dorling Kindersley's epic tome The Natural History Book? Sinéad Renshaw joins Derek to explain how you could win one of four copies of this truly stunning book...

    Mooney Goes Wild - Programme Podcast 25/10/15

    On MGW tonight: Competition: Win A Copy Of 'The Natural History Book'!; Rwandan Gorilla Census; Urban Beekeeping: Goatstown; Purpose Of Crow Funerals

    Sunday 18th October

    Irish Conker Championships

    Aileen Dooley from the Irish Conker Championships challenged Eanna to a conker match! Never a woman to shy away from a challenge, Eanna strapped on her cuff, strung up her nut and strode out into the leafy grounds of RTÉ to accept Aileen's challenge with eyes firmly set on the prize - of becoming Ireland's conker-ing queen! Marty Morrissey was on hand to provide the commentary...

    Your Questions, Our Answers

    Richard Collins answers queries about corncrakes. If you have a question that you would like one of our wildlife experts to answer, just e-mail, marking your mail 'Your Questions, Our Answers'...

    In The Company Of Thomas Pakenham's Trees

    Eanna ni Lamhna visits Thomas Pakenham, the 8th Earl of Longford, at his castle Tullynally. Thomas Pakenham is the author of In The Company Of Trees, and he takes Eanna on a tour of Tullynally to introduce the trees that inspired the book...

    Urban Beekeeping: Stoneybatter

    Reporter Terry Flanagan visits Stoneybatter to chat to Kaethe Burt-O’Dea, founder of the LIFELINE project, to learn more about their community garden and why they've introduced bees...

    Billy Flynn On The Badgers Of Castleknock

    You may remember a few weeks ago on the show we were talking about a group of badgers. They were living under a Dublin family home - but had outstayed their welcome and were being moved onto pastures new. Eanna ni Lamhna went out to Castleknock to take a look at the badgers and to see how the big move was being managed by the Irish Wildlife Trust. Ecologist Billy Flynn, from the IWT, joins us on the line with an update...

    Mooney Goes Wild - Programme Podcast 18/10/15

    On MGW tonight: Billy Flynn On The Badgers Of Castleknock; Urban Beekeeping: Stoneybatter; In The Company Of Thomas Pakenham's Trees; Your Questions, Our Answers & Irish Conker Championships...

    Sunday 11th October

    IMRAM & Trickster Bird

    'Trickster Bird: The Crow Project' features field recordings of crow song, along with poetry and song about corvids. It takes in Smock Alley on October 14th. Singer Caitríona O’Leary joins us to tell us a bit more about IMRAM, Trickster Bird and to perform the Scottish song Twa Corbies, from the show...

    Mairead McGuinness On European Bee Week

    Brussels is a busy place at the best times, but last week the Belgian capital was buzzing, a veritable hive of activity, for the fourth annual European Bee Week. One of the the organisers was Vice-President of the European Parliament, Mairead McGuinness MEP, who joins us in studio to tell us all about it...

    Percy, The Persistent Pigeon

    Terry Flanagan visits listener Leo at home in Limerick, to find out more about Percy the homing pigeon, who is refusing to fly home to Armagh!

    Philip McCabe, World President!

    We're absolutely thrilled for our regular bee expert Philip McCabe, who was recently elected World President of Apimondia, the Federation of International Beekeepers. Freshly returned from Korea, where he addressed 10,000 delegates at the Apimondia Congress 2015, he joins us in studio to tell us a bit more about the role, and his job ahead...

    Mooney Goes Wild - Programme Podcast 11/10/15

    On MGW: Philip McCabe, World President!; Percy, The Persistent Pigeon; Mairead McGuinness On European Bee Week and IMRAM & Trickster Bird.

    Sunday 4th October

    Mooney Goes Wild - Programme Podcast 04/10/15

    If you've 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. But why is it when we go to the fishmongers, the fish there have generally dull, neutral colours? Why are some fish brightly coloured and others not? What is the evolutionary purpose of colour?

    Sunday 27th September

    Discover Research Dublin Night

    Terry Flanagan visited Discover Research Dublin at Trinity, where he learned about the bugs on our teeth, and the benefits of fungi!

    Bonobos & Babies

    Sounds made by bonobo apes echo the sounds produced by babies before they learn to speak. Biologists believe this discovery could shed light on the evolution of speech in humans. Dr. Zanna Clay, who led the study, is a Marie Curie Research Fellow and Comparative Psychologist at the University of Birmingham in the UK; Richard met her recently to learn more...

    The Mysterious Moth

    Eanna ni Lamhna finds out about the mysterious moth that remained dormant in a jam jar for over two decades!

    Eanna In Canada

    Eanna ni Lamhna chats to Derek and Richard about some of the wildlife she saw on a recent visit to Canada, and why Alberta has no rats...

    Mooney Goes Wild - Programme Podcast 27/09/15

    On this MGW podcast: Eanna In Canada, The Mysterious Moth, Bonobos & Babies & Discover Research Dublin Night. Visit for full details on all the items discussed on tonight's show!

    Sunday 20th September

    Mooney Goes Wild - Programme Podcast 20/09/15

    In this Mooney Goes Wild special: should mammoths be listed under CITES to save elephants? Adrian Lister of the Natural History Museum in London (who proposed the idea) & Dick 'Sir Mammoth' Mol discuss with Derek and Richard, whilst Dr. Karen Gaynor of CITES gives us her view...

    Sunday 13th September

    Mooney Goes Wild - Programme Podcast 13/07/15

    In this Mooney Goes Wild special, Derek Mooney and Richard Collins meet licensed bird ringer Declan Manley, and his son Patrick, as they erect mist nets in an effort to catch and ring swallows, before they leave their breeding grounds here in Ireland for their wintering grounds in Africa...

    Sunday 6th September

    Female Fruit Flies

    Fruit flies have very thin, transparent wings, once thought to be colourless. But researchers at Lund University in Sweden discovered that the wings shimmer with beautiful colours when viewed against a dark background. And a team from there has demonstrated that females actually choose a mate based on these 'secret' wing colours.

    Pine Martens and Red Squirrels

    Back in May Richard and Derek travelled to the Slieve Gullion Forest Park in Newry to chat to Dr. David Tosh from Queens University, and Therese Hamill from the ‘Ring of Gullion and Cooley Red Squirrel Group’. David was leading research into how the native red squirrel population has been making a comeback, thanks to help from the pine marten…

    Prof John Hearn on his Stem Cell Research

    Prof John Hearn is one of the world’s foremost scientists in the area of stem cell research. This week he is back at his old alma mater, UCD, where he received an Hon Doctor of Science degree. He talks about his research to Dr Richard Collins

    Wasps Nest

    Chris Hayes sent us this picture of a wasps' nest in his pump house in Co Tipperary. Terry Flanagan, Eanna Ní Lamha and Derek chat about wasps in Ireland

    Terry's Answer Machine Mission

    Terry Flanagan went to visit Paddy O’Leary in Glenageary, Co. Dublin. He had an infestation of what he believed to be hoverflies. He wanted general information on hoverflies such as would they sting or bite his grandchildren and when would they leave. In fact when Terry went to visit Patrick, he discovered that they were wasps and not hoverflies.

    Sunday 30th August

    Terry's Answer Machine Mission

    Terry Flanagan visits Liam O'Leary in Enniscorthy, Co Wexford. He has a problem with grey squirrels robbing eggs from his henhouse

    House Martin Chicks Fall from Their Nest

    Derek went to Cork three weeks ago to visit Kathryn Cashman who contacted the programme about what she thought were three swallow chicks who had fallen from their nest. Kathryn joins Derek on the line with an update on their progress

    Jim Wilson Sets Sail for the Northwest Passage

    im WIlson is one of our main Dawn Chorus panellists every year. He is also an author and lecturer onboard cruise ships that take passengers with an interest in wildlife to the Arctic, Antarctic and pretty much everywhere in between. He talks to Derek Mooney about what can be seen on such expeditions

    Sunday 23rd August

    MGW Habitats - Programme 5/5

    In this new five-part series, biologist Terry Flanagan, ornithologist Eric Dempsey and botanist Matthew Jebb take listeners on a wondrous journey into the habitats of some our native and exotic plant and animal species. Tonight: Woodland, Curlews & Water Lilies. For more, visit

    Sunday 23rd August

    Nature in the Middle East

    Richard Collins talks to Richard Porter, an expert on Middle Eastern wildlife at the Rutland Bird Fair

    Eric Dempsey

    Eric Dempsey, one of Ireland's leading ornithologists, is at the Rutland Bird Fair with Derek Mooney. He looks at nest boxes and also about his memoir which has just been published

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    Presenter: Derek Mooney

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