Mooney, Friday September 6th 2013

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Caring For Wild Animals

Please note that many species of mammals, birds, invertebrates etc... are protected under law and that, even with the best of intentions, only someone holding a relevant licence from the National Parks & Wildlife Service should attempt the care of these animals.  For full details, please click here to read the NPWS Checklist of protected & rare species in Ireland.  If you are concerned about a wild animal, please contact your local wildlife ranger - click here for details.

Events & Listings

Click here for a full list of events taking place around the country, and movies currently on release, which might be of interest to wildlife lovers!

On Mooney Goes Wild today...

On Mooney Goes Wild today...

Derek will be at the Natural History Museum in London with Evolutionary Biologist Dr George Beccaloni. We find out how companies can reduce their environmental footprint - and save money - by simply being greener. And cattle, T.B. and badgers: how celebrities have banded together to record a single opposing what they describe as ineffective culling...

Dr. Richard Collins arriving at the BBC Studios in London, ahead of this afternoon's Mooney Goes Wild programme

Report Shows RTÉ's Green Initiatives Resulted In Savings Of €700,000

Report Shows RTÉ's Green Initiatives Resulted In Savings Of €700,000

As you may know, this week we launched our FUEL YOUR SCHOOL competition in conjunction with Electric Ireland and Greenstar - where four primary schools (one from each province) can each win a year's worth of electricity to the value of €5000.

All you have to do is tell us in no more than 400 words what YOUR school has been doing to help the environment. The email address is; the closing date is Wednesday, September 11th 2013.

Also this week, RTÉ produced a report showing how it has managed to save €700,000 by implementing some waste-reducing schemes.

So when Miriam O'Callaghan brings her empty bottle to the bottle bank, when Ryan Tubridy prints double-sided running orders and when Joe Duffy recycles his newspapers - it all contributes to savings for the organisation.

And we're not just patting ourselves on the back here, there is a lesson to be learned for other companies in how to save money by being simply 'greener'.

The waste from all the RTÉ buildings eventually goes to an area at the back of the campus where it is all processed - and it is to there we go live, and to Eanna Ni Lamhna!

The report was published by RTÉ, in conjunction with the Environmental Protection Agency and Greenstar; click here to read the full report. And for more details about the Fuel Your School competition, click here.

Centenary Of Death Of Alfred Russel Wallace

Centenary Of Death Of Alfred Russel Wallace

To commemorate the 100th anniversary of the death of Alfred Russel Wallace (on November 7th 1913) and to discover more about this extraordinary man, Derek Mooney and Dr. Richard Collins visit the Natural History Museum in London. There they talk to entomologist and evolutionary biologist Dr. George Beccaloni. Alfred Russel Wallace, independently of Charles Darwin, proposed the Theory of Evolution by Natural Selection, and he was considered the 19th century's leading expert on the geographical distribution of animal species - he's sometimes called the "father of biogeography".

Richard Collins pictured with Dr. George Beccaloni

Dr. Beccaloni is also the co-author of Natural Selection And Beyond: The Intellectual Legacy Of Alfred Russel Wallace, which is published by Oxford University Press. The ISBN is 978-0-19-923917-7 and the RRP is £18.99.

For more information about Dr. George Beccaloni, click here.

Click here for a list of world-wide events in 2013 associated with Alfred Russel Wallace:

Badger Culling

Badger Culling

In an effort to control the spread of Bovine TB in England, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) have initiated a badger cull in Somerset and Gloucestershire. Reports claim that bovine TB cost the British taxpayer approximately £100 million in 2012 and that could cost £1billion over the next decade. DEFRA claim that "No other country has successfully tackled bovine TB without addressing infection in both wildlife and cattle". 5,000 badgers are expected to be killed in controlled shootings over a six week period.

Naturalist, author and presenter of BBC SpringWatch and AutumnWatch, Chris Packham, tells Derek why he objects to the cull...

So what’s the situation in Ireland. How many badgers are there, what scientific studies on TB have been undertaken, and most importantly, is there any chance that the problem could be completely eradicated from the country?

Our reporter, Terry Flanagan, met up with Professor Tom Hayden of UCD to find out 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.

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 ( 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


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Presenter: Derek Mooney


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