Katriona McFadden visits County Galway, and discovers an extensive network of rivers flowing underground. We ask why anybody would try to poison Ireland's peregrine falcons, and check on the status of the rest of our amazing raptors. And we look forward to a major new RTÉ television series exploring the wonderful and diverse creatures that live in the seas around Ireland...
Two weeks ago, our Herring Gull's nest on the roof of Stage 7 here in RTÉ, received the gift of life – two little chicks hatched out.
Eanna ni Lamhna and Terry Flanagan take us through this week's development, and explain the magpie activity around the nest...
To watch the Herring Gulls, click here.
Earlier this week, RTÉ’s Six One News reported a story which shocked many people. The attempted poisoning of peregrine falcons took place at Dalkey Quarry last week – the latest in a line of cruel incidents against these birds of prey.
John Lusby, Raptor Conservation Officer with BirdWatch Ireland is familiar with the location and joins us from our Galway studio to explain more...
One of the e-mails that came into us at email@example.com in the past few weeks was from a woman who claims to be living in the one and only estate in Ireland with a dedicated hedgehog street!
Lynne Gallagher is education officer with the Laois/ Offaly branch of the Irish Wildlife Trust. She has just launched a new project called Hedgehog Street.
The idea is to help hedgehogs find safe routes and places to feed and nest, by creating hedgehog sized corridors between all the gardens in a neighbourhood or street.
Mooney researcher Michèle Browne headed off down to Lynne's house in Chesterfield Close in Birr, County Offaly, where she met with Lynne and three of her children, Zach aged 12, Josh aged 11 and CJ aged 8.
Lynne with her sons
Lynne at Hedgehog Street!
You can find out more about how you can go about becoming a hedgehog champion and create a hedgehog street in your area by visiting www.thebadgersett.weebly.com.
Isn’t there something so soothing about listening to the sea?
A new four-part television series, called Ireland’s Ocean, begins this Sunday on RTÉ One this coming Sunday, and as you can see from the above trailer, the footage is truly spectacular.
Each episode has a particular focus: dolphins, sharks, the ecosystem in shallow waters, and fish and crustaceans.
Ken O'Sullivan is producer of the series, and he joins us today from RTÉ's Galway studios to tell us what we can expect from the show... For more information on Ireland's Ocean, visit www.rte.ie/tv/programmes/irelandsocean. The series begins this Sunday on RTÉ One at 6.30pm.
Everyone knows of the Bull Island in Dublin, but did you know that it was designated a National Nature Reserve in 1988 and that is listed by UNESCO as a Biosphere Reserve? Very impressive! But why is it so important.
Well every winter, the island is home to thousands of waders, but this is not the only wildlife present. What else might be present? Have you ever seen newts or lizards there during the summer?
Herpetologist Robert Gandola, from the Herpetological Society of Ireland (www.thehsi.org), has begun a survey of the island to discover if amphibians and reptiles may be present and what their population status might be. We sent Mooney Goes Wild reporter Terry Flanagan out early last Sunday morning to find out more...
The Shannon, the Liffey, the Lee - just some of our famous Irish rivers. You can fish on them, boat on them or simply walk alongside them as they contain many scenic stretches.
But what about Ireland's UNDERGROUND rivers? The rivers that very few of us ever see? Did you know we had underground rivers?
In parts of Counties Clare and Galway, a 'karst' landscape has been formed by limestone being shaped by water - the Burren is probably the most visible example - and under the ground in this region, and indeed under Galway Bay AND the Aran Islands, there is a huge network of underground rivers flowing through naturally-formed limestone 'pipes'.
In fact some Aran Island wells have been found to be full of water coming from the mainland in these limestone pipes!
Well we thought it sounded fascinating, so we sent Mooney reporter Katriona McFadden off to Galway to meet geologist Dr Tiernan Henry from NUI Galway, who has just completed a five-year study into this network of underground rivers...
Lots of you have been in touch with the programme to find out the latest news on Lydia the Great White Shark, who had been heading towards Ireland. You can track Lydia's progress by visiting www.ocearch.org.
We are organising a singles night out for our listeners who are over 35! The where and when is still being finalised, but if you are interested in joining in the fun, then send us an e-mail! Let us know your age, gender, and if you are single. You must be available to travel to the venue at your own expense. Please send your e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org, with the subject line 'Singles Night Out'. And keep listening for further information!
Earlier this year, we launched our competition to find Ireland's newest child star. The competition was open to boys and girls who were aged 10 years old or under. We asked you to record a piece that was no more than three minutes long, and e-mail it in to us.
The finalists, in no particular order, are:
- Hannah Kinsella (9 years old, from Lucan, Co. Dublin) with Pushover
- Nikki Brown (8 years old, from Saggart, Co. Dublin) with Colours Of The Wind
- Anna Lily Fox (6 years old, from Ballinalee, Co. Longford) with a Johnny Cash medley
- Laoise Farrell (9 years old, from Ogonnolloe. Co. Clare) with The Call
- Alannah Bermingham (10 years old, from Kilmacud, Dublin) with Colours Of The Wind
The date for the final will be announced shortly and the winner will perform at our Christmas Mooney Tunes concert.
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