Derek Mooney with his unique mix of conversation, information, advice and entertainment.
We find out about the unpredictable cycle of the Titan Arum - also known as the "stinky plant" - and why it's currently flowering in Washington. We learn how older male beetles make better fathers. And: close encounters of the reptilian kind - we chat to the Dubliner who encountered a snake in his bathroom!
Eanna ni Lamhna is incensed today! When she went to fill out her AA Survey, she discovered that bees, ants and wasps were described as pests! Conor Faughnan, Director of Policy with AA Ireland, joins us on the line to tell us why the AA are surveying people about bees and ants, and why wasps are pests!
During the week we got a very interesting e-mail into the office from a chap called Paul Wade, in Drumcondra in Dublin:
We were up in Donegal for the weekend, and arrived home at 7.30ish on Sunday night. At 8.30ish, I thought I would visit the throne room with my Sunday paper ... I walked into the bog, and there was a SNAKE wrapped around the taps and plug chain on the sink - I kid you not, a great big SNAKE!! It was at least 5 feet long, black with white markings.
This morning, producer Pat O’Mahony went to meet Paul at his home in Drumcondra this morning to find out all about his serpentine encounter!
Kevin Cunningham is from the National Exotic Animal Sanctuary in Ballivor in County Meath, and he came to the rescue in Paul's hour of need. This afternoon, Kevin joins us on the line from the sanctuary to tell us more about the snake rescue!
Click here to read the NEAS Guide to dealing with various exotic animals.
Mature male burying beetles make better fathers than their younger counterparts. That’s one of the findings of research by Exeter University’s Centre for Ecology and Conservation published in the journal Proceedings Of The Royal Society of London.
Nicrophorus vespilloides, one of the burying beetles studied by Dr. Megan Head
One of the big puzzles of evolutionary biology is why males care for offspring that aren’t theirs. To explain, Derek is joined from the BBC studios in London by Dr Megan Head, Doctor of Evolutionary Biology at the University of Exeter... To find out more, you can read this statement from the University of Exeter, or visit the website of Dr. Megan Head.
Ant-like lines have been weaving their way about the United States Botanic Gardens Conservatory in Washington... the lines are not ants or tropical beetles, but curious humans coming in their tens of thousands every day to see a giant phallus-like and smelly flower, the titan arum (Amorphophallus titanum).
Ari Novy is a plant scientist and Public Programmes Manager at the Botanic Gardens, and he joins Derek and the panel on the line today from Washington!
The flower is now collapsing, and entering a dormant stage; the Botanic Gardens in Washington have set up a webcam focusing on flower, and you view the webcam, and find out lots more about the titan arum, by visiting their website
Peter Nolan from Templeogue got in touch this week, to say that he had an unusual problem. The gutters on the back of the house are full of grass and weeds - yet none of his neighbours have any.
He has a theory as to why this is so, and he asked us to come out to see his weeds, and to assess his theory.
We sent Terry Flanagan along to find out more…
If you were listening yesterday, you’ll have heard Mary Kingston’s "yukky" report about parasites like Bilharzia and Tissue Myiasis, and Larvae Migraines, and other such tropical illnesses that you can pick up abroad.
Well, no sooner had we done the report than we heard that celebrity lawyer Gerald Kean was in hospital after getting an insect bite while on holidays in Portugal...
This afternoon, Gerald joins us on the line from his hospital bed in Blackrock clinic...
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