Earthworm spaghetti! Bug bolognese! According to a recent UN report, eating insects could be the perfect answer to human nutritional needs, including providing a cure for obesity! We talk to one of the authors involved. Nestwatch 2013 is up and running, and we expect a clutch of eggs to be laid over the coming days. And, we meet the Trinity College researcher who reckons he's discovered the evolutionary origin of humankind's skill at deception and lying.
You're probably aware that May is the month of RTÉ Goes Wild, and your national broadcaster has lined up an array of radio and television output, celebrating Ireland's wildlife!
Amongst other things, the final episode of Secrets of the Irish Landscape, presented by Derek Mooney, will be broadcast this Sunday, May 19, at 18:30. Derek follows in the footsteps of Ireland's greatest environmentalist, Robert Lloyd Praeger.
To find out more about RTÉ Goes Wild, visit www.rte.ie/tv/rtegoeswild.
Derek will also be involved in another show, next Friday, May 24th, entitled "Bio Blitz".
The event will be held at four locations; Wicklow Mountains National Park, Co. Wicklow, Burren National Park, Co. Clare, Lough Key Forest Park, Co. Roscommon and Colebrooke Estate, Co. Fermanagh.The four sites will compete to record the most species of wildlife over a 24-hour period. There will also be a programme of activities at each site running in conjunction with BioBlitz for anyone interested in wildlife to attend and join in the recording activity.
For more information about the BioBlitz, visit http://bioblitz.biodiversityireland.ie/.
And quite apart from RTÉ Goes Wild, over the month of May, next week is also National Biodiversity Week, a week designed to give people the opportunity to really celebrate and learn more about our native plant and animal species. And also, to find out about how we, as communities, interact with our environment.
National Biodiversity Week starts off tomorrow, Saturday May 18th, and runs until the following Sunday May 26th! There are over 70 free and exciting events happening around Ireland, in all kinds of locations: mountains, forests, bogs and beaches.
Events such as the ‘Annual Dawn Chorus Walk’, the ‘Native Species Weekend at Dublin Zoo’ and a ‘Biodiversity Experience’ at the Bog of Allen Nature Centre have been organised.
Richard, Eanna and Terry have been taking a look at what's happening, and join Olan in studio to chat through some of their favourite events...
Visit http://ien.ie/bw13/events/ to find out what's happening in your area!
Now, around this time, many of you might be experiencing a bit of a mid-afternoon slump! And lots of you might rely on snacks to see you through until the end of the day – a cuppa, a bag of crisps or a chocolate bar. But have you ever considered snacking on grasshoppers instead? How about a nice juicy beetle? Or a handful of mealworm?!
The eating of insects is known as entomophagy, and its benefits are huge. A new report, called “Edible Insects: Future Prospects For Food And Feed Security”, takes a look at how eating insects is good for your health, environmentally-friendly, and has huge potential for improving livelihoods in developing countries! One of the co-authors of the report, Arnold van Huis joins Olan and the panel today from the Dutch town of Wageningen…
To read the report (and it truly makes for fascinating reading - 2.3 million downloads and counting!) then visit http://www.fao.org/docrep/018/i3253e/i3253e00.htm. And to find out which insects are edible, click here.
And if you've been inspired to give some crickets a go, then there are lots of yummy recipes here! www.insectsarefood.com/recipes.
Our parent Blue Tits have well and truly settled into their nestbox in Derek's back garden, with at least two eggs in there (the female laid the first on Wednesday, and the second yesterday. Blue Tits lay one egg per day, so we're assuming that there are three eggs in there now - although the eggs are under the foliage material in the nestbox. Click here for more information about the Blue Tit, and to view the live stream.
Irish marine biologist Rowan Byrne is shortly heading to the Falkland Islands to research, investigate and draft an OSCP (Oil Spill Contingency Plan) for the Falklands government to help protect habitats and species if there is an oil spill. These are common in any Irish & UK ports and are regulated by the Marine and Coastguard Agency here in UK.
He joins us from the BBC studio in Edinburgh, where he's currently based, to chat about what he's likely to experience - and about how he ended up becoming involved in the Pirates Of The Caribbean movies!
A couple of weeks ago we reported on the 30th anniversary of Fungie the dolphin’s arrival into Dingle Bay.
But up in Derry they’re currently dealing with a sea beast of an entirely different nature. Some filmmakers were out fishing when they captured this footage.
This is the first sighting of a massive black creature which witnesses insist was no whale. They were out shooting a film called “Fishing with David Lynch” – which explains why they were dressed in suits – when they came across what has become known as the Lough Foyle Monster – and this Youtube clip has now had a million and a half hits.
It has caused consternation and Deputy First Minister of the Northern Ireland Executive, Martin McGuinness, has voiced his concern.
As you may be aware, Derry-Londonderry is currently the UK City of Culture and the monster has appeared at a time when a major festival to celebrate the Return of Colmcille to the area is being prepared. What you might not know is that the earliest report of a Loch Ness monster appears in a manuscript on the life of Colmcille, written in the 7th century.
The Return Of Colmcille is written by Frank Cottrell Boyce, the author and screenwriter who wrote the stunning opening ceremony to the Olympic Games – and he joins us on the line from Liverpool today.
The Return of Colmcille will be taking place in Derry on June 7th and 8th.
Mooney Goes Wild reporter Terry Flanagan is a fount of knowledge on all things relating to wildlife and nature! We often get e-mails and texts from people asking Terry to go and visit them to help them ... well this week, we received a message from St. Mochta's School in Clonsilla, who wanted Terry's advice about their bird feeder!
Primates benefit hugely from co-operating with each other - humans being the shining example of how far a group can come with a little bit of quid pro quo. But we also have a remarkable ability to deceive – the finesse and art and games we play have been around for a long time. But how this ability came about remains unclear in evolutionary theory.
Luke McNally is a research fellow at the University of Edinburgh, and he has an article that was published this week in the prestigious “Proceedings of the Royal Society of Biological Sciences” which is put forward a most interesting thesis to how this all came about...
To explain more, he joins Olan and the panel today from the BBC's Edinburgh studios.
Hedgerows and the Law
Hedgerows in Ireland form important features in maintaining wildlife diversity and in establishing wildlife "corridors", particularly for birds. The commonest nesting birds found in hedgerows such as wrens, dunnocks, robin and willow warblers depend entirely on insects during the Summer months. In general untrimmed, thorned hedgerows containing species such as blackthorn, whitethorn and holly are favoured by birds as they provide ample food and also serve as a protection against predators.
Section 40 of the Wildlife Act, 1976, as amended by Section 46 of the 2000 Act, provides protection for hedgerows by providing that it shall be an offence for a person 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. It is important that, where possible, necessary work to hedgerows is carried out outside this period.
It is possible in most cases to schedule and carry out necessary work to hedgerows outside this period. The legislation makes provision for works (other than road or other construction works) to be carried out for reasons of public health and safety under the authority of any Minister or a body established by statute that lead to the destruction of vegetation. There is also a provision to enable the Minister for Environment, Heritage and Local Government to request from the relevant Minister or body details of any such works together with a statement of the public health and safety factors involved.
It shall not be an offence to destroy vegetation in the ordinary course of agriculture or forestry. Also it shall not be illegal to destroy vegetation while preparing or clearing a site for lawful building or construction works.
It is the policy of the Minister to prosecute for offences under section 40 of the Wildlife Acts 1976 and 2000 and successful prosecutions have been taken under this section in recent years. Members of the public are encouraged to contact their local wildlife ranger and report instances where hedgerows are being destroyed during the prohibited period.
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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 www.irishwildlifematters.ie
Presenter: Derek Mooney