World President of Apimondia, Philip McCabe, explains how bees can withstand the sweltering heat of the Middle East and the deadly sub zero temperatures in eastern Europe. Glenn King tells us why spider venom could help protect the brain from devastating stroke damage. And Terry Flanagan learns more about a safe haven for injured wild animals found anywhere in the country – the Kildare Animal Foundation...
On Saturday, January 14th of this year, RTÉ Radio 1 broadcast a special profile documentary about Philip McCabe - Mooney Goes Wild's resident bee expert for many years, and the current President of Apimondia - the International Federation of Beekeepers' Associations. His role as President of Apimondia has seen him travel from Kazakhstan to Dubai to Tehran, addressing politicians, presidents and princes, helping explain to those at the very highest level why we need to do all we can to protect the world's bee populations. Tonight Philip is in studio with Derek, and MGW regular panellists Richard Collins and Eanna ni Lamhna, to give us a very special insight into this unique position...
Around this time last year, Eanna brought us the story of how spider venom could one day be used as a treatment for cancer. French scientist Dr. Michel Dugon, who is based at NUI Galway, is working on turning the poison from arachnids into lifesaving medicine (to listen back to this interview and find out more about the story, click here).
By sequencing the DNA of toxins in the venom of the Darling Downs Funnel Web Spider, researchers the protective molecule that could potentially help victims of strokes. Photo: Bastian Rast / ArachnoServer
There are more than 30,000 known species of spider. Each has a different type of venom and, to date, less than 100 of them have been investigated for their therapeutic potential. Needless to say that Dr. Dugon is not the only one believing in the as-yet untapped potential of spiders. Scientists in Australia are now researching how they might be used to treat strokes. Strokes are the second largest cause of death worldwide. A stroke occurs when blood flow to the brain is interrupted and the brain is starved of oxygen. About 85% of strokes are caused by blockages in blood vessels in the brain, with the rest due to bleeds when vessels rupture. To explain more about his research in this area, we're joined from Brisbane by Professor Glenn King, a Professorial Research Fellow at the Institute for Molecular Bioscience, in the University of Queensland's Centre for Pain Research...
To read Professor King's paper 'Potent neuroprotection after stroke afforded by a double-knot spider-venom peptide that inhibits acid-sensing ion channel 1a', which was published this year in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, click here. And for more information on Professor King and his work, click here.
It’s that time of year when there’s a baby bonanza in the wildlife world. Fledgling birds are learning to fly and fend for themselves; newly born hedgehogs – or hoglets, as they’re known – are beginning to venture out as their mothers go in search of water and food. But with all this extra activity comes an increased risk to safety and, for this reason, this is also sadly known as the orphan season. On our roads we see a steep rise in the number of wildlife casualties, but what would you do if you came across an injured animal or bird? Well, you could call your local vet, or seek advice from the ISPCA or a Wildlife Ranger, or you could bring the creature to a dedicated rehabilitation organisation, such as the Kildare Animal Foundation.
Dan Donoher from the Kildare Wildlife Foundation, along with one of the centre's patients...
Situated just outside Kildare town, and up and running for more than twenty years now, the Foundation treats a variety of injured and abandoned animals, which are found not only within the county but all over the country. Recently our reporter, Terry Flanagan, headed down to see the work that’s being carried out there. Dan Donoher, who’s a wildlife rehabilitator, was there to meet him ...
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.
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