Mooney Goes Wild

    Sunday, 10pm-11pm, RTÉ Radio 1

    Mooney, Friday July 19th 2013



    The Irish Whale and Dolphin Group have just launched their Atlas of Marine mammals around the coast of Ireland - and we have some copies to give away to listeners! Terry Flanagan discovers one of the rarest of rare visitors to this island, the shy, retiring dormouse. And we talk to Dr. Ioannis Ieropoulos from the University of the West of England, who has come up with a novel way of charging your phone battery: using urine!


    DSPCA Inundated With Calls About Seabirds Not Fledging

    The DSPCA, Dublin Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, contacted us during the week, telling us that they are INUNDATED with phone calls about the same subject!

    Seagulls. Or more accurately, just "gulls".

    At this time of year, young gulls are taking that great leap and are fledging their nests... To the uneducated eye, it can look like the chicks in the nest are actually in trouble. But generally, this is not the case.

    Here to tell us what to do if you see one of these gulls is Gillian Bird, Head of Education at the DSPCA...

    To find out more, and to see images of fledgling birds, visit their Facebook page.


    Dormice Sighting

    Terry Flanagan saw a mouse this week... but he wasn’t in a windmill in old Amsterdam! And he wasn’t there on the stair. He was in Kildare!

    Specifically, he was at the Kildare Animal Foundation where he met Don Donoher, and the adult female dormouse there...

                 The Kildare dormouse; photo by Terry Flanagan

    Dr. Colin Lawton is Head of Mammal Ecology in NUI Galway, and he wants your help with a survey of dormice in Ireland! He would like you to report any sightings you have of a dormouse in Ireland.

    Dormice are about the same size as a mouse, usually weighing less than 20g, although they can be twice that weight just before hibernating. They have large black eyes (they are mostly active at night) and a thick furry tail quite unlike that of a mouse. They are more closely related to squirrels than the mice we have in this country.

    Dormice are woodland animals, who nest in shrubs and hedgerows, particularly those containing hazel (as their name suggests) or brambles. They like to eat fruit, nuts, flowers or insects depending on what is available. Often they are seen in the summer feeding at bird tables, particularly those close to suitable woodland.

    If you see a dormouse, then e-mail [email protected] and they will get back to you - and if you get a picture, all the better! Or you can also make contact via their Facebook page:


    Trinity College Tar Drop Experiment Succeeds After 69 Years!

    When it comes to reporting science in the media, journalists are always looking for "Eureka" moments - huge, groundbreaking moments of scientific progress that make a great story in the newspaper.

    Unfortunately, science doesn't work that way. As Thomas Edison said, "genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration". And most scientific experiments tend to be long, laborious and painstaking.

    Researchers at Trinity College recently demonstrated this phenomenon, in probably the most extreme way possible. They have just concluded an experiment that was started all the way back in 1944

    1944 was the year Casablanca was the big winner at the Oscars. And the Nazis still occupied large parts of Europe.

    Most of the people involved in setting up this experiment are no longer with us. But researcher Prof. Shane Bergin, from Trinity College, was one of those involved in bringing it to a conclusion.

    He's here in studio now to tell us how an experiment takes 69 years to conclude!

    To find out more about the Tar Drop, the world's slowest-moving drop, and to view the video, visit


    IWDG Atlas Of Marine Mammals

    The Irish Whale and Dolphin Group has just published its' Atlas Of The Distribution And Relative Abundance Of Marine Mammals In Irish Offshore Waters: 2005 – 2011, and one of it's authors, Dave Wall, joins Shay in studio today to tell us all about it!

    To find out more about the Atlas, and the IWDG, visit the IWDG website.

    We offered you a chance to win a copy of the Atlas by answering this question: What kind of animal was Moby Dick? The answer was whale or white whale, and the first five listeners to text us the correct answers were: John, Patrick Buttimer from Cork, Jen Marley from Athlone, Joe Jones from Westmeath and Clare Keogh from Cork.

    ***All the winners have now been contacted - a huge thank-you to everyone who entered!***


    Charging Smartphones Using Urine

    It has happened to most, if not all of us: the little bleep as your battery dies, just as you have to make an important call or send a hilarious text response to someone...

    Well, we learned this week that this could become a thing of the past, as scientists working at the Bristol Robotics Laboratory, which is a collaboration between the University of the West of England (UWE Bristol) and the University of Bristol, have developed a novel way of charging mobile phones using urine as the power source to generate electricity.

    Dr Ioannis Ieropoulos is a Senior Research Fellow at the University of the West of England, and he joins us today from the BBC Bristol studios to explain more...

    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.

    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

    If you require a CD copy of this programme please e-mail [email protected].  Transfer fees and terms and conditions apply.

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