Mooney Goes Wild

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    Mooney, Friday December 6th 2013

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    On Mooney Goes Wild today...

    Find out how you can help Birdwatch Ireland in their annual Garden Bird Survey, tracking the health and well-being of our best loved native birds. We speak to the Kerry woman who has spent six months following Orangutans in the tropical peat swamps of Borneo. And reporter Terry Flanagan gets to the bottom of why rooks and other birds are swallowing and regurgitating small stones!

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    BirdWatch Ireland Survey

    ***TO FIND OUT HOW TO CARE FOR AND ATTRACT GARDEN BIRDS, CLICK HERE***

    The results of last winter's Garden Bird Survey have just been published and Niall Hatch, Development Officer with Birdwatch Ireland is in studio now with the results!

    The Garden Bird Survey for Winter 2014 begins this week, and if you would like to take part in the survey, you can find full details by visiting www.birdwatchireland.ie. To take part in the survey by submitting your results online, click here, or to download the survey form to print out and send back, click here.

    We’ve spoken on air in the past about the Bird Atlas project, and the massive book that is the culmination of all those years of hard work has finally just been published. It’s a truly landmark publication and will form the basis for bird conservation policy and legislation both in Ireland and in Britain for the next 20 years. It runs to 720 pages, weighs 3.9kg and gives details of the distribution, abundance and population changes for all the birds that occur here.

    You can find more information about the book itself at http://shop.birdwatchireland.ie/birdwatchireland/product_info.php?cPath=80&products_id=929.

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    Orangutans Of Borneo

    The mysterious red ape, the Orangutan, has much in common with another Great Ape - Man. The Orangutan is said to be a very 'wise' animal. The island of Borneo is one of the last outposts for the Orangutan – and Kerrywoman Marina Mulligan has just returned from there.

    She is a Zoology graduate from University College Cork and, for the last six months, she has worked in Borneo as an 'Orangutan Intern'! She joins us today from the Radio Kerry studios in Tralee...

    For more information about the Outcrop project, visit www.outrop.com.

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    The Rook That Eats Stones

    This week, Terry Flanagan went to meet a listener in Co. Meath who has crows coming to her garden every year (October - November) and EATING the stones on her driveway. She wanted to know why birds do this...

    The stone-eating rook

    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 (www.npws.ie) 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.

    IMPORTANT NOTICE

    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

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