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...
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.
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 biology.ie 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...
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 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.
To follow us on Twitter, use the handle @MooneyShow.
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