Mooney, Friday December 5th 2014

VOTE FOR IRELAND in the European Tree of the Year competition!! 

Listen to Éanna Ní Lamhna talk about Ireland's Tree of the Year Click Here

Vote for the European Tree of the Year Click Here

On Mooney today, with Olan McGowan...

On Mooney today, with Olan McGowan...

We find out why the Hen Harrier is losing friends in the farming community, we have expert advice on how to maintain trees over the winter, and we'll recommend some books which wildlife lovers might enjoy during the holiday period...

Hen Harriers

Hen Harriers

It’s portrayed as the bête noire of the bird world, posing a serious threat to certain farming sectors.  But, the vilified 'hen harrier' could live side by side with farmers, with mutual benefits. That's according to John Lusby, Raptor Conservation Officer with BirdWatch Ireland, who joins us from RTÉ's Galway studio...

Mooney's Money

We've €1,000 to give away today to save or spend as you please, take a break from your bills, or a make a break to the sun, it's up to you!

For your chance to win the cash, answer the following competition question:

Monday, December 8th 2014:

Dublin Zoo is located in which of these parks:

a)   Phoenix Park or

b)  Linkin Park

If you think you know the answer, call or text the competition line:

ROI: 1515 71 72 00

NI: 0901 293 3501

or text MOONEY followed by your answer and name to 57111 (ROI & NI)

Each text entry costs €1 (incl VAT) or GBP £1.00. Calls from the eircom network will cost €1.02 (incl VAT) and from a BT landline will cost GBP £1.02. Calls from other networks and from mobiles will cost more.

Please note, the person named in the entry must be aged 18 years or older as at date of entry. 

Competition lines are open now and will close at 4.15pm on Monday (08/12/14). Please do not enter outside of the advertised competition window as you will be charged for your entry, but your entry will not be included. From time to time, these open/close times may vary. Any change to the standard open/close times will be announced here and on the show. The cash prize winner will be announced on-air towards the end of the Mooney show each day.

For full terms and conditions, please click here.

Tree Fungus

Edel Harrington from Clondalkin in Dublin was on to us during the week. She has noticed an unusual growth on one of her trees and was concerned that it might be an infection and wondered could it be a cancerous growth?

Bracket Fungus

What was it, and was it possible to save the tree? We sent out Mooney Goes Wild reporter, Terry Flanagan, to investigate...

How widespread are tree diseases, and how should such trees be maintained? For more, we are joined in studio by Joe McConville, arborist and Vice President of the Tree Council of Ireland...

For more information about Joe visit www.joemcconville.com.

Christmas Wildlife Books

Book Recommendations: Eanna ni Lamhna

The Field Names Of County Louth by Eve Campbell

Published by the Louth Fieldnames project. The book is available for sale in:

Drogheda - ABC Books, Waterstones &  Millmount
Dundalk - Carrolls Bookshop
Ardee - Ardee Bookshop
Duleek - Sage & Ston

and will be available on line at www.kennys.ie

Seasons, Species and Patterns Of A North-East Atlantic Rocky Shore by Carmel T. Madigan

A Loophead Summer Hedgeschool Publication.

Book Recommendations: Terry Flanagan

Walking The Royal Canal - Peter Clarke

Doorstep Wilderness: A Wilder Side Of Dublin - Paul Hughes

Book Recommendations: John Lusby

My First Book Of Irish Animals - Juanita Browne

Finding Birds In Ireland - Eric Dempsey & Michael O'Clery

Book Recommendations: Joe McConville

The Splendour Of The Tree - An Illustrated History by Noel Kingsbury, photos by Andrea Jones.

Published by Francis Lincoln, 2014.

It pays homage to 100 key species of tree — chosen for their cultural, economic, or historical signicance and their importance in the natural world—and includes an indispensable cultivation section that advises on the care and selection of trees for the home garden.

God's Trees: Trees, Forests And Woods In The Bible by Julian Evans.

Day One Publications, 2013

It’s not just which trees were there but how they were used –  Cedar of Lebanon (Cedrus libani ) for beams in Solomon’s temple, Acacia trees for shade in the Negev desert but most widespread were Olive trees (Olea europaea) which produced olive oil for lighting and cooking. 

Magnolias In Art And Cultivation by Barbara Oozeerally, Jim Gardiner, Stephen A. Spongberg

From Kew Publishing, in association with the Royal Horticultural Society, 2014

Magnolias In Art And Cultivation combines stunning paintings of magnolias with information on all species and around 100 hybrids. With over 150 botanical paintings, artist Barbara Oozeerally captures these plants in breathtakingly beautiful detail; described by botanical art collector Dr Shirley Sherwood as 'an extraordinary series of important and beautiful plant portraits'. The informative and authoritative text by Jim Gardiner accompanies these paintings and provides a variety of information about magnolias, including their cultivation; together with Stephen A. Spongberg's full botanical descriptions.

A Murmuration Of Starlings In Belfast

Starlings are one of the commonest type of bird to visit our gardens at this time of the year. They are also one of the loudest.

The reason that Derek is not presenting the programme this afternoon is because he's recording material for a documentary on starlings which will be broadcast on RTÉ Radio 1 on Friday, January 2nd 2015.

This afternoon, Derek and Richard Collins are in a boat under Albert Bridge in Belfast, a popular roosting site for the birds...

Letters To Santa!

Letters To Santa!

For all the children out there who are getting really excited about Christmas and looking forward to waking up and finding that Santa has delivered all those special presents right to your homes, take note!

It's time to start writing your very own letters to Santa and posting them here, into Mooney. Tell us what you would really love from Santa this Christmas, but also tell us bit about yourselves too - what you've been getting up to in the past year, some of your favourite moments, about your family - mum, dad, brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, cats and dogs - and if you've got a piece of writing or a poem or even a joke which you've written and you’re especially proud of it, don't forget to enclose that too!

Please bear in mind that Santa Claus is very busy at this time of year, and has a lot of letters to read, so keep yours as short as you can and make sure that you get it into Mooney by Tuesday, December 9th.

You can send your letters by post to:

Santa Claus
c/o Mooney
RTÉ Radio Centre
Donnybrook
Dublin 4

or send them by e-mail: mooney@rte.ie. Please include 'Letter To Santa' in the subject line of your e-mail. And if you're very lucky, Santa will read out your letter right here on RTÉ Radio 1, on Christmas Eve!

Bring Someone Home For Christmas Competition

Mooney is teaming up with Bank of Ireland Foreign Exchange to bring someone home for Christmas!

It's your chance to make this Christmas extra special by bringing home that loved one from abroad. Maybe it's a family member, maybe it's a friend - whoever it is we want to know about them, and you.

Bank of Ireland Foreign Exchange believe that behind every international payment there is something more personal.

How to enter:

Just tell us what it would mean to you to have your loved one home for Christmas. Tell us your story, a bit about yourself, and tell us who your special person is. Let us know where they are, and tell us about your connection to them, and how much it would mean to you to have them home for Christmas.

To enter and find out more about the competition, visit the Bank of Ireland Foreign Exchange website by going to www.bankofireland.com/home-for-christmas.

Make sure that you include contact numbers both for the person you would like to bring home, and for yourself.

The closing date for entries is Saturday, December 6th.

RTÉ Competition terms and conditions apply - for more on these, visit www.rte.ie/about/en/serving-our-audience/2012/0222/291673-competition-voting-terms-conditions.

This is competition is also subject to the specific terms and conditions available on www.bankofireland.com/fs/doc/wysiwyg/competition-rules-personal-social-media-campaign-5th-november-home-for-christmas.pdf.

Back from the Brink is a one-hour programme that plans to celebrate the hard work, dedication, and commitment of conservationists who are striving to save endangered species from extinction. Here, Derek Mooney discusses this unique, pan-European natural history event.

I've been working in natural history broadcasting for over 30 years now. In that time, I’ve seen some truly wonderful sights, but I’ve also seen first-hand the problems that wildlife is facing, both in Ireland and around the globe. There has been a growing awareness amongst the general public, particularly in the last few years, of the threats to our environment and biodiversity.

In many ways, this has been long overdue, but I’m also aware that for a lot of people the current state of our planet can seem overwhelming, even depressing. We are increasingly bombarded by tales of doom and gloom. Issues like climate change and animal extinction are too often made to seem insurmountable, as though tragedy is a foregone conclusion, but that’s simply not true. It’s not too late to help nature. 

We need to find a way to bring some much-needed optimism back into the conservation. That’s definitely what attracted me most to Back from the Brink. Through my work over the years on Mooney Goes Wild, in particular, I have met thousands of dedicated scientists and conservationists out there, fighting hard to save endangered species and working miracles. By telling some of their stories, I thought we could inspire people and show that there is every reason for hope.

Nature is resilient, and if given a chance it can recover from all sorts of abuse. It was once thought that the Red Kite, a stunning bird of prey, was lost forever from Irish skies, shot and poisoned to extinction. To see dozens of them now flying over the Co. Wicklow countryside again, all thanks to the dedication of people who simply weren’t prepared to give up, was a humbling and inspirational experience.

The same goes for the enormous efforts that I witnessed to safeguard the growing populations of Wolves in Italy, Brown Bears in Spain and Eurasian Beavers in The Netherlands, to give a few key examples from the programme. Perhaps the most sobering part for me personally was seeing the dramatic effects that climate change has wrought on the Swiss Alps, where glaciers are rapidly melting and high mountain habitats are disappearing, along with the unique animals that live there. Even then, against all the odds, people are fighting back.

Back from the Brink is not just a story about animals. At its core, it’s really a story about people. We, humans, have caused our planet’s problems, but people are also the key to fixing them. Literally every conservationist I interviewed for the programme spoke with such passion about their work, coupled with an unshakeable belief that what they were doing was utterly worthwhile, and I think that shines through on the screen. It must do because even the production crews, and there were many across Europe, not least our own team here in Ireland, headed by Colm Crowley from RTÉ Cork and scientific advisor Niall Hatch, were totally dedicated to this project.

We want to empower as many of those viewers as possible, and to reinforce the truth that every single one of us can play a role in saving endangered species and the wider environment. It’s not just about doing your bit – it takes much more than a bit, it takes a lot! – but about understanding that we need to accept fundamental changes to the way in which we live our lives. Having seen what can be achieved when the will is there, it will be well worth it, believe me.

Watch Back from the Brink at 6:30pm on Monday, 30th of December on RTÉ One.

Second Chance Archive

Have another chance to hear some of our Mooney Goes Wild programmes uncovered from the RTÉ Radio 1 archive. Click the links below for more information. 

The Dance of the Cuckoos - Mooney Goes Wild Special 

The Blue Whale - Mooney Goes Wild Special

Feathers - Mooney Goes Wild Special

Bergen Whale - Mooney Goes Wild Special

Sparrows  - Mooney Goes Wild Special 

Wildlife Film Makers - Mooney Goes Wild Special 

The Common Swift - Mooney Goes Wild Special 

E-mail: mooney@rte.ie        Facebook: facebook.com/rtenature          Twitter: @NatureRTE

Ireland and Climate Change: Are we up for it? Professor John Sweeney - Maynooth University

When the countries of the world assembled for the now famous Rio Earth Summit in 1992 to adopt the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, they undertook to take the necessary steps to prevent ‘dangerous’ climate change. Defining what was dangerous proved a difficult task, however, and largely as a result of the European Union’s prodding, a value of 2oC warming above pre-industrial times was generally adopted as the criterion. Gradually the rest of the world fell into line with this, except the Small Island Developing States of the Indian and Pacific Oceans. For them this was something that would have condemned their island homes to submergence beneath the rising sea. So when the Paris Agreement emerged in 2015, it had a nuanced objective: "to hold increases in global temperatures to well below 2 °C and pursue efforts to limit increase to 1.5 °C." To flesh out what the 1.5oC target would actually mean, the Conference asked the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change to produce a Special Report, which they did in October of last year.

The report confirmed that significantly greater climate problems would be experienced at a warming of 1.5oc compared to the present day, even though we have already warmed by 1oC over pre-industrial levels. These would include increases in extremes of heat and heavy rainfall events in several regions, accompanied by more frequent and more intense droughts. But most worrying was the realisation that the remaining carbon budget to avoid this warming would only last for a decade or two at the current rate of greenhouse gas emissions. After this budget was exhausted the carbon would be in the atmosphere for a century or more. Globally, emissions needed to fall by 45% on 2010 levels by 2030. It was this realisation that galvanised many groups and energised many individuals around the world, culminating in the mass protests we see around us. This was true, even in an Ireland whose compliance with its international obligations are failing miserably and its laggard status approaching the level of a national shaming. As a developed country with historical responsibility, we should be bearing more of the burden of tackling this problem than most other countries. Instead our per capita emissions are 50% higher than the EU average and place us as the second worst contributor to climate change on a per capita basis within the EU. The recently released 2018 figures confirm we are now 5M tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions over the limit we agreed solemnly with our EU partners over a decade ago.

At the same time as we declared a climate emergency in Ireland this year we also declared a biodiversity emergency. This was in recognition that Ireland was also experiencing serious threats to its species and habitats, partly due to climate and also a number of other drivers, such as agricultural intensification. Another UN report in spring 2019 confirmed that human actions are now threatening more species with global extinction than ever before. The current rate of species extinction is 10-100 times higher than it has averaged over the past 10 million years. Around 1 million species already face extinction, many within decades.

In Ireland, our peatland, coastal marsh and mountain habitats are particularly at risk. 29 different bird species and 120  species of flowering plants are in serious decline. Some bird species such as the Corn Bunting and Corncock have become extinct. Others such as the Curlew have been decimated and many species such as the pearl mussel, bumblebee, barn owl and marsh fritillary butterfly face serious threats. At the same time invasive species are moving into newly favourable ecological niches providing additional competition and stress to native species.

Ireland has warmed by 0.5oC over the past 30 years and is likely to warm by a similar amount over the next 2-3 decades. This  will have impacts on our growing season, making crops like maize much more feasible to grow. However, projected changes in rainfall are likely to be the main climate change problem Ireland will face. Already we are seeing an increase in intense rainfall events. Increased winter flood problems will result and the government will need to find €1B of taxpayers’ money to protect against future events. Winter storms are also likely to become more problematical. Winter 2013/14 was the stormiest winter in Ireland for at least 143 years. Winter 2015/16 was the wettest winter on record over half of Ireland. Former hurricanes such as Ophelia and Lorenzo pose additional late autumn threats which are likely to increase as the Atlantic warms and summer droughts will bring their own difficulties for agriculture and municipal water supplies. All in all, it is changing weather extremes which will bring the message of climate change home to Irish people and instil in them the urgency of playing a constructive role in international negotiations.

Conscious that it their legacy that is under threat, young people have been in the vanguard of protest. The ‘Fridays for Future’ schools protest has taken up the baton of Greta Thunberg who has become the icon that communicates the reality of climate change more effectively than a hundred graphs and tables. Armed with the factual knowledge of the Green Schools, it is to these inspirational leaders that the rest of society must now turn. The time for tinkering around the edges with excuses about efficiency or identifying ‘low hanging fruit’ on the basis of economic cost benefit curves is now over. The problem is now an ethical one of intergenerational equity, one where scientists can no longer be labelled ‘alarmists’ but rather ‘realists’. In an emergency the unthinkable has to be considered and Ireland is now at a crossroads where the next decade will determine what legacy we leave to the next generation. It’s an awesome responsibility. Are we up for it or not?

Professor John Sweeney is Ireland’s foremost climatologists and was a  lecturer at Maynooth University’s Geography Department for 40 years until his recent retirement. Over the past 30 years he has published approximately 60 scientific papers and edited and co-authored texts on various aspects of climatology and climate change in Ireland.

Hedgerows

Statement from BirdWatch Ireland, Thurs Feb 28th 2019:

BirdWatch Ireland wishes to remind the public, local authorities and contractors that hedge-cutting is NOT permitted between 1st March and 31st August inclusive, except in the case of any of the derogations permitted under the Wildlife Act 1976, as amended. The Heritage Act 2018 gives the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht the power to make certain changes to these dates, but it is important to note that, as yet, the Minister has not done so. As a result, the usual dates when hedge-cutting is prohibited currently remain unchanged.

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 read the Heritage Bill 2016, as passed by Dáil Éireann on July 5th 2018, click here.  To read the Heritage Act 2018, click here.

To contact your local wildlife ranger, click here for contact details. To read the Wildlife (Amendment) Act 2000, click here.

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.

 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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E-mail: mooney@rte.ie

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Twitter: @NatureRTE

Presenter: Derek Mooney

Series Producer: Ana Leddy

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