Mooney Goes Wild

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    On Sunday, May 1st 2016, Europe will wake to the sound of bird song, due to a collaboration between RTÉ and EBU Members.  Thanks to EBU members NRK in Norway, the BBC, Radio Moscow and National Public Radio in the Netherlands, Derek and his team at RTÉ will be representing the full splendour of the Dawn Chorus live across the continent, featuring some of Europe’s finest performers in full voice.  Experts will be on hand to explain to listeners what is happening, in real time, and to shed some light on the hidden lives of these amazing birds.  The Dawn Chorus will take place on Sunday, May 1st 2016, from 00:00 - 06:00 (Irish time).  Click here to read more about this exciting and ground-breaking broadcast!

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    Friday, March 29th 2013

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    On Mooney Goes Wild today...

    We hear about the matchmaking programme for pheasants at Druids Glen, we speak to the DCU student who wants your help in counting foxes in Dublin, and we learn a little about one of the oddest looking fish in the sea - the sawfish!

    Urban Foxes

    In rural settings, foxes are often seen as a menace and they are hunted down. But John Holden contends that city dwellers are much more tolerant of foxes!

    John is a freelance science journalist and a Master’s student of Science Communication at DCU, and he wants your help to conduct a population count of this wily creature in Dublin City!

    He joins Derek and the panel in studio to explain exactly what he's looking for...

    John wants YOUR sightings of foxes in the area of Dublin that stretches from the southside canal to the northside canal. To find out more about the project and to report a sighting, visit www.foxpop.info, the Facebook page, or link up on Twitter.

    Pheasant Matchmaking And Zambian Golf!

    Sometimes boy meets girl, they like the look of each other, and they have a baby. The baby then grows up and looks for a partner to start the next generation - and the cycle continues…

    But sometimes, it’s not that straightforward. Sometimes, the boy or girl needs a helping hand to ‘hook up’

    But there is no Lisdoonvarna for pheasants, so Derek Mulrooney has taken it upon himself to play ‘Matchmaker’ to introduce some wives to suitable Pheasant husbands!

    He is the ‘Honorary Wildlife Conservator’ at Druids Glen Resort in Wicklow.

    And we’ve spoken to him in the past about his Kingfisher project at Druids Glen but today he is here to talk about Pheasant Matchmaking, Bachelor Mute Swans, Curious Antelopes and Zambian Golf!

    Derek doesn't want donations of second-hand golf equipment, but he is looking for someone to sponsor a trip and six sets of new golfclubs for six Zambian boys that they are hoping to bring to Ireland this summer. They will base them and a chaperone in Delgany and bring them to the Golf Union of Ireland Academy in Carton House. This will be done in association with the Zambian Golf Federation.

    Sawfish

    There are some extraordinary-looking creatures in nature, and in particular in our seas. The Giant Squid comes to mind, also the Sea Cucumber, the Blobfish, the Pufferfish, the Frogfish … each is quite unique.

    But there is one sea creature that looks like a household tool….

    Can you guess what it is?

    You may have guessed ‘hammerhead’ shark, and you’d be right… but it is the ‘Sawfish’ we are talking about today! It looks a bit like a ray with a great big nose extension in the shape of a saw with jagged edges.

    The poor old Sawfish is critically endangered now but used to be found in abundance along the West Coast of Africa. And an Irish marine biologist is involved with trying to save the sawfish!

    Her name is Ruth Leeney from Stillorgan and Eanna caught up with her earlier and asked her is there a big difference between a swordfish and a sawfish…

    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

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