Mooney Goes Wild

    Sunday, 10pm-11pm, RTÉ Radio 1

    Mooney Friday 24 January 2014

    Listen

    On Mooney today

    Have we finally cracked one of the great marine questions of recent decades? Exactly how long do great white sharks live? New research suggests they can grow as old as humans!

    We examine the V-formation in the flying patterns of some birds, and get to the bottom of why this method is so efficient.

    And, peace be with you!! Mooney Goes Wild launches the search for Ireland's most tranquil location.

     

    Listen

    Most Tranquil Place in Ireland

    We are on a quest! We're going to try to find the most tranquil place in Ireland, and we need your help!

    Now, tranquillity is a subjective term.  A tranquil place is somewhere that is peaceful, restful and soothing, rather than somewhere that enjoys a complete absence of sound!

    Dictionaries differ in how they define tranquillity, but I particularly like this one, from Merriam-Webster. "Tranquil: Free from agitation of mind or spirit."

    Given the nature of this programme and calling on our knowledge of our various contributors, we imagine tranquillity would be measured by how far removed you are from human interference!'  How surrounded you are by pure, natural sound ...... flowing water, a light breeze, and birdsong in the distance, maybe.

    Okay, it's subjective. But nonetheless, we are embarking on this quest. And apart from needing your assistance, we've enlisted some professional help.

    Diarmuid Keaney runs a company called ICAN Acoustics, and he is an expert in Noise Control and he gives some pointers to Derek as to what constitutes tranquility.

    To nominate your location for Ireland's Most Tranquil Place, fill out this form and email it to mooney@rte.ie.

    Listen

    V Formation Flying

    Dr Steven Portugal, a researcher in the Royal Veterinary Hospital in Hertfordshire examines the V-formation in the flying patterns of some birds, and gets to the bottom of why this method is so efficient.

     

    Katriona McFadden and Eric Dempsey visit Kilcoole in Co Wicklow to see some Brent Geese and Greylag Geese. This is the best time to watch the ‘wintering’ Geese in Ireland before they head back to their breeding grounds in high-Arctic Canada and Iceland, respectively.

    For more on wintering geese in Ireland visit BirdWatch Ireland http://www.birdwatchireland.ie/IrelandsBirds/Geese/tabid/544/Default.aspx

    or contact Eric Dempsey at http://birdsireland.com/contactus/

    Listen

    Great White Sharks

    When Jaws was made in 1975 we knew very little about this most fearsome predator. In more recent times scientists have estimated the life span of the Great White to be closer to 25 years. However, new research suggests their life span could be closer to that of humans at 70 years.

    We talk to Li Ling Hamady, a graduate student at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Massachusetts. She’s lead author of a report titled Vertebral Bomb Radiocarbon Suggests Extreme Longevity in White Sharks. The research has just been published in Plos One, an international, peer reviewed, online publication for scientific research. For further information see http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0084006

    Listen

    Daffodils are Flowering in January

    Terry Flanagan investigates reports that daffodils are in flower this January, while they normally don't bloom until February or March. He meets Steven Doyle in Clondalkin in Co Dublin to see his daffodils.

    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

    Mooney Goes Wild

    Latest Show

    Mooney Goes Wild on Twitter

    Presenter: Derek Mooney

    Schedule Open Schedule