Mooney, Friday August 2nd 2013


The prestigious annual Rose D'Or Awards (now in their 55th year) honour the very best of international radio, TV and online entertainment programmes, and the awards ceremony took place last night (Tuesday, September 13th 2016).  Over 400 programmes from more than 130 broadcasters and production companies in 33 different countries were submitted for this year’s Rose d’Or awards.  For the first time, a new competition category, 'Radio Event Of The Year' was created.  We entered European Dawn Chorus in this category, and we're absolutely delighted to let you know drumroll... WE WON!!! We're absolutely thrilled to pieces, and a massive thanks to all our EBU and BirdLife International partners, we couldn't have done it without you!  Click here to read more about the 2016 Rose D'Or awards (in which legendary funnyman John Cleese picked up the Lifetime Achievement award), and click here to relive - and re-listen to - all the beautiful Dawn Chorus birdsong from right across Europe.

***STOP PRESS*** Dawn Chorus Picks Up Another Award!

We're thrilled to let you know that on Friday, October 7th, the Dawn Chorus won the Innovation Award at the PPI Radio Awards in Kilkenny!

***To visit The Mooney Show website, click here!***


Twitter: @naturerte

On Mooney Goes Wild today...

On Mooney Goes Wild today...

Derek hears about the first home-bred white-tailed eagle chicks to hatch since the species was reintroduced into Ireland. Are two heads better than one? We find out about the double-headed turtle born in a U.S. zoo. And we learn about the sorry plight of the last male corncrake in the midlands, whose mating calls have gone unanswered...

White-Tailed Eagle Chicks

Regular listeners to Mooney Goes Wild will know that, over the years, we've taken a keen interest in the reintroduction of various breeds of eagles into Ireland.

And last week there was some very encouraging news as the first white-tailed sea eagle chicks bred here since the species was re-introduced in 2007 were spotted leaving their nest on an island on Lough Derg in County Clare.

A white-tailed sea eagle chick

The man behind this re-introduction programme is Dr Allan Mee, and he joins us today from RTÉ Radio's Limerick studio!

Mooney Goes Wild reporter Terry Flanagan was the only journalist on board the plane that brought the original chicks from Norway to Ireland back in June 2007 - to find out more about that original journey, click here.

For more information about the White-tailed Eagle reintroduction project, click here.

Mammal Atlas

Mammal Atlas

Last week Eanna was getting very 'exercised' about a survey she had done for the AA in which they spoke of ‘pests and vermin’ - and they included ‘bees’ as pests – which annoyed Eanna quite a lot! Didn’t it Eanna?!

And the conversation moved onto Roadkill and how it would be great to have a way to record roadkill.

Well we got an e-mail from Paul Whelan of reminding us that He runs a RoadKill Survey and indeed has an App on his site to help people report roadkill sightings – and he mentioned that his data is sent to the National Parks and Wildlife Service and the National Biodiversity Data Centre to help form their “Mammal Atlas”

The Mammal Atlas is a work in progress at present but relies on the public to make sightings, and Katriona McFadden went to meet Ferdia Marnell, from the National Parks & Wildlife Service, to find out more about the Atlas!

This is the link that members of the public can use to record any mammals that they see.

All records can be instantly seen on the website and will be used to prepare an ‘Irish Mammal Atlas’ in 2015


Years ago, the iconic sound of the corncrake was widespread throughout Ireland, but sadly, the beautiful bird is now in decline and there are now only three breeding populations left in the country...

Anita Donaghy is a Senior Conservation Officer with Birdwatch Ireland, and she joins us from our Derrybeg studios to explain more...

Two-headed Turtle

They say that two heads are better than one – and we better hope so for the sake of Thelma and Louise – a two headed (or bicephalic) Turtle which was born in San Antonio Zoo in the USA a few weeks ago.

Two-headed people and animals, though rare, have long been known to exist and have been documented for hundreds of years – and the the Hydra is perhaps the best known mythological multi-headed animal, also popularised in many fantasy settings.

The Texas zoo is no stranger to two-headed reptiles as it was home to a double-headed Texas rat snake named Janus from 1978 until its death in 1995.

The Texas Cooter Turtle has become so popular now that it has its own Facebook page!

Craig Pelke is Curator of Reptiles, Amphibians and Aquatics at San Antonio Zoo and he joins Derek on the line from Texas today!

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



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Presenter: Derek Mooney


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