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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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/
Click here if you would like to hear the documentary about the trumpeter swans.
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
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 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