We’re broadcasting from Cork today, and we hear how our native and rare red squirrel is thriving at Fermoy golf club. We meet the UCC graduate of zoology who's just been awarded an OBE. And, new research suggests the population of breeding birds on this island could be TEN times its human population - an amazing 62 million!!
Now we always know when we come to Cork that Professor John O'Halloran will have some interesting news for us! He is the Head of the School of Biological, Earth & Environmental Sciences in University College Cork. And today he joins the panel in our Cork studios to tell us about Ireland’s first population census for birds, the insects that like to live on our treetops and UCC: the first green flag campus in the world!
For more information about UCC's Green Campus initiative, visit www.ucc.ie/en/build/environment/greencampus.
Now with all the wet weather we’ve had here recently, especially in the south of the country, we worried how some of our wildlife was doing, in particular, the Dipper, which just happens to be the old Mooney Goes Wild programme logo!
Pat Smiddy has worked on the Dipper Project in Co. Cork, along with Barry O’Mahony, under the watchful eye of Prof. John O’Halloran of U.C.C. for 30 years now and last night, Richard, Eanna, Terry and Derek met up with Pat, Barry and Ph.D. student Dario Fernandez along the banks of the Glashaboy river to find out more...
Ringing a dipper
Weighing a dipper
You could hardly mention the remote island of South Georgia without reference to the great explorer Ernest Shackleton. The Irishman is actually buried on the uninhabitable island in the South Atlantic Ocean. South Georgia is also a haven for wildlife including King Penguins, fur seals and albatross.
Dr. Martin Collins
Dr Martin Collins is a former PHD student at UCC and he’s now Chief Executive and Director of Fisheries with the Government of South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands.
And at the start of the year, he was awarded an OBE honour in the 2014 New Year’s Honours List in recognition of his outstanding contribution to science and conservation in South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands.
He joins us on the line today to tell us about his work and research, his time in Cork and his surprise at receiving the award!
We are also joined in studio by Colm Crowley, from RTÉ Cork, who was the Producer and Director of Secrets Of The Irish Landscape, which has just been nominated for a New York Film and Television Award! Congratulations to all involved!
To find out how to care for and attract garden birds, read Jim Wilson's Guide To Garden Birds - CLICK HERE!
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