John Sweeney tells us what's causing all this extreme weather and flooding. After four million years on planet Earth, the extraordinary Angel shark is now in danger of extinction. Kevin Flannery, from Dingle Ocean World, pleads to save this wonderful creature. Terry Flanagan reports on the herons feasting on goldfish in a garden pond in Dundalk. And good news for polar bears, as Arctic states reach a landmark agreement for their protection.
To find out how to care for and attract garden birds, read Jim Wilson's Guide To Garden Birds - CLICK HERE!
Over lunchtime, we were alerted to a series of remarkable photos taken in Dublin City Centre posted on the website broadsheet.ie. It showed the River Liffey with burst banks, and flooding alongside the East Link Bridge toll booths. Around the country, we have seen similar images, of burst river banks and floating cars. But what's behind all this extreme weather? We're joined on the phone today by Prof John Sweeney, Professor of Geography at NUI Maynooth.
To see the pictures of flooding that the team are chatting about, visit www.broadsheet.ie (you'll need to scroll down the page a bit to get to the flooding images).
Recently, Paddy McArdle from Dundalk got in touch looking for help. Paddy has a lovely pond in his back garden (and Derek should know – both he and Eanna were there a number of years ago!).
But he has a problem. His fish are disappearing at a rapid rate.
And he knows who the culprit is! But how can he get rid of him? We sent our reporter Terry Flanagan off to Louth to offer his advice...
The guilty heron!
The heron with a fish
The heron goes after more prey...
Believe it or not, the prehistoric angel shark has been native to Irish waters for around four million years. But decades of netting has all but wiped out this once-plentiful creature.
Kevin Flannery is Director of Dingle Oceanworld, and he joins Derek and the panel from the RTÉ Cork studio to tell us more...
An Angel Shark
Despite their beauty and iconic status, it really is a tough life, being a polar bear! And climate change is making it even tougher. It really is an amazing species, the polar bear. It's the largest land-based predator. It's incredibly well-adapted to the extremes of the polar climate and long periods without food. It’s also the only land mammal whose main habitat is the drifting ice. And when you consider that the Arctic ice is predicted to disappear during the summer months over the next half-century, you can see how vulnerable the beautiful polar bear is to climate change. Certainly more than most species.
Well, good news emerged recently for the polar bear. The main countries where the polar bear roams have come together to agree an action plan which, hopefully, will further stem the decline in their numbers.
Geoff York, polar bear conservation co-ordinator for the World Wildlife Fund’s Global Arctic Programme, joins the panel on the line this afternoon from Alaska to tell us more...
Eanna ni Lamhna will be taking to the stage for the very first time this month, in her bid to become the next Dame Judi Dench!
Here on Mooney Goes Wild, we all know Eanna already as one of Ireland's great drama queens! But from Thursday, January 16th - Saturday, January 18th, Eanna will be appearing onstage at the Smock Alley Theatre in Dublin for three nights in aid of Barnardos - in the company of many others.
Under My Bed is a patchwork of childhood stories from some of Ireland’s most recognisable faces – chefs, broadcasters, politicians, writers, actors, musicians, people such as Mary O’Rourke, pianist Mícheál O’Suilleabháin, singer/songwriter Eleanor McEvoy and Catherine Fulvio.
Tickets cost €30, with all monies going directly to Barnardos. Performances start at 7:30 each evening, and for more information, visit www.smockalley.com/under-my-bed.
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