Friday, May 3rd 2013

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Caring For Wild Animals

Please note that many species of mammals, birds, invertebrates etc... are protected under law and that, even with the best of intentions, only someone holding a relevant licence from the National Parks & Wildlife Service should attempt the care of these animals.  For full details, please click here to read the NPWS Checklist of protected & rare species in Ireland.  If you are concerned about a wild animal, please contact your local wildlife ranger - click here for details.

Events & Listings

Click here for a full list of events taking place around the country, and movies currently on release, which might be of interest to wildlife lovers!



On Mooney Goes Wild today...

Terry Flanagan celebrates Ireland's best-known and most loved weed: the dandelion! Katriona McFadden gets down and dirty with the bugs that reside in your pillows. And we look forward to a groundbreaking new RTÉ television series exploring the Secrets Of The Irish Landscape.

RTÉ Goes Wild In May!

RTÉ Goes Wild In May!

Throughout the month of May, listeners to our programme and wildlife lovers everywhere are going to be treated to a bonus selection of nature programmes and features as part of the RTÉ Goes Wild season! 

Staring at midnight this Sunday with the Dawn Chorus on RTÉ Radio One, RTÉ Goes Wild continues with Don’s Wild Watch on RTÉ Junior… and one man who will be appearing a lot more on our screens is documentary-maker Colin Stafford-Johnson.

The Emmy-award winning wildlife cameraman will be making his debut as a radio wild life documentary maker this Sunday at 7pm on RTE Radio One with his new series Nature On One. The first episode takes us to Skellig Michael, and Colin is in studio today to tell us more about what we might expect!

For more information on the RTÉ Goes Wild strand, visit  If you'd like to download a schedule for all the different radio and TV programmes that will be part of RTÉ Goes Wild, click here.

Secrets Of The Irish Landscape

Secrets Of The Irish Landscape

This Sunday, a new three-part series examines the changing geology of the island of Ireland.

16,000 years ago, Ireland was a land covered in ice, uninhabitable to both humans and animals. So how did Ireland go from being a frozen country to the green and pleasant land of today? In this new series, Derek Mooney pieces together the clues to uncover the Secrets Of The Irish Landscape...

Secrets Of The Irish Landscape starts this Sunday, May 5th at 18:30 on RTÉ One.

Matthew Jebb, Director of the National Botanic Gardens, was Scientific Advisor for the series, and joins Derek in studio to chat about how Ireland's geology has formed and changed...

Dawn Chorus Preview, with Niall Hatch

Dawn Chorus Preview, with Niall Hatch

Join the Mooney Goes Wild team on Sunday, May 5th 2013, from 00:00 - 06:00, for the Annual Dawn Chorus from Cuskinny Marsh Nature Reserve in Cobh, Co. Cork.

The documentaries that will be broadcast during Dawn Chorus are:

00:00 - 01:00 Carl Linnaeus
01:00 - 02:00 The American Alligator
02:00 - 03:00 The Black-tailed Godwit
03:00 - 04:00 Rainforests of Costa Rica

Niall Hatch, who is Development Officer with BirdWatch Ireland, will be one of the guests in our Dublin studios for the six-hour broadcast, and he's also in studio today to tell us which birds we might expect to hear!

To report your first sightings of swallows, cuckoos, swifts and white storks, visit

For more information about the Dawn Chorus, click here.

Opening Of Wildlife Garden For St. Michael's House In Balinteer, Dublin

We received an e-mail this week from Monica Alveraz, who is a lecturer in the College of Further Education, informing us of a project that she and her students have just completed.

Every year they take on a 'Make Over'. They work with St. Michael’s House and pick one residence to upgrade.

This year, it was the turn of St. Michael’s House in Marley Court and today - now in fact - it is being officially opened, so earlier on this morning, Terry Flanagan headed over to see how things were going...

Monica Alvarez (College of Further Education, Dundrum)
and Anthony Sharkey, resident of St. Michael's House

 Final preparations for the opening of the garden

Ireland's Dirtiest Pillow Competition!

Just over two weeks ago we had David Woolfson here in studio - he’s the founder of Irish company SleepAngel Pillows.

And he was joined by Bruce Mitchell, Consultant Clinical Immunologist and Allergist at the Blackrock Clinic and CEO of the Airmid Healthgroup.

Airmid have a laboratory here in Dublin. They tested the SleepAngel pillow and found it to be a 100% barrier against viruses, mould, microbes, allergens, bacteria – and all the other 'nasties' you might find inside your pillow.

So two weeks ago David and Bruce launched a competition here on Mooney. They said "send us your oldest, dirtiest pillow. We’ll replace it with a brand new SleepAngel pillow and we’ll take the dirty pillow away to the lab, put it under a microscope, see what’s in it and we’ll announce the winner on Friday May 3rd".

Which is today!

Mooney reporter Katriona McFadden is standing by at the Airmid Laboratories in Dublin with David and Bruce to find out the results... 


Dust Mite

Dust Mite

Dust Mite


Petri dish

Petri dish

Petri dish



Cat Dander

Dog Dander

E coli

Penicillium chrysogenum

Staphylococcus aureus

Staphylococcus epidermis


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.

UPDATE: February 29th 2016 - Press Release From BirdWatch Ireland:

Putting the record straight: Dates for burning and hedge-cutting have NOT changed

BirdWatch Ireland, Ireland’s largest conservation charity, is very concerned about misinformation that is currently circulating regarding the dates within which the burning of vegetation and cutting of hedges is permitted.  It would like to remind landowners that all burning and cutting must cease on 29th February this year and that burning and cutting remains prohibited from 1st March to 31st August.

Despite attempts by the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Heather Humphreys T.D., to change the laws regulating these dates by introducing the Heritage Bill 2016 earlier this year, it is important to note that the proposed date changes were ultimately NOT made.  This is because the bill failed to pass through both houses of the Oireachtas before the recent dissolution of the Dáil in advance of the general election.

The laws in place governing the dates for hedge-cutting and upland burning therefore remain unchanged. The period within which cutting and burning is prohibited are set down in Section 40 of the Wildlife Act 1976 (as amended in 2000), which states that:

(a) It shall be an offence for a person to cut, grub, burn or otherwise destroy, during the period beginning on the 1st day of March and ending on the 31st day of August in any year, any vegetation growing on any land not then cultivated.
(b) It shall be an offence for a person to cut, grub, burn or otherwise destroy any vegetation growing in any hedge or ditch during the period mentioned in paragraph (a) of this subsection (above).

The existing law provides exemptions for road safety and other circumstances and should be read carefully to ensure compliance.

Section 40 of the Wildlife Act exists to protect nesting birds. Many of our upland bird species are in decline and are in danger of extinction in Ireland; amongst them is the Curlew, which has declined by 80%. Many birds which nest in hedgerows into August are also in serious decline, including the endangered Yellowhammer. The changes to the cutting and burning dates which had been proposed in the now-defunct Heritage Bill 2016 would have caused serious impacts to these birds. A petition launched by BirdWatch Ireland in conjunction with several other national conservation organisations to stop these changes attracted more than 16,200 signatures and rising.

BirdWatch Ireland would also like to advise members of the public that if they see hedges being cut or fires in the uplands on or after 1st March, such activity could be illegal.  In such cases, we would encourage people to contact the National Parks and Wildlife Service ( to report such activity.

BirdWatch Ireland warmly welcomes the demise of the Heritage Bill 2016 and sincerely hopes that any future administration will consider the importance of Ireland’s natural heritage and will not attempt to reintroduce such a flawed and damaging piece of legislation.

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


***Download the Dawn Chorus 2017 podcasts***

Dawn Chorus 2017 - First Hour - 00:00 - 01:00

Dawn Chorus 2017 - Second Hour - 01:00 - 02:00

Dawn Chorus 2017 - Third Hour - 02:00 - 03:00

Dawn Chorus 2017 - Fourth Hour - 03:00 - 04:00

Dawn Chorus 2017 - Fifth Hour - 04:00 - 05:00

Dawn Chorus 2017 - Sixth Hour - 05:00 - 06:00



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Presenter: Derek Mooney


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