Ten new White-tailed Eagle chicks arrived in Ireland from Norway last week to bolster population numbers as Phase II of the ongoing White-tailed Eagle reintroduction programme got underway.The ambitious reintroduction programme, a joint initiative between the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) and the Golden Eagle Trust, began with the release of 100 Norwegian … [Read more...] about Irish eagle numbers boosted
To the untrained eye, a grey seal and a common seal may look the same, yet there are key differences. Grey seals are huge. Males can weigh up to 300kg and grow to 2.5 metres long, whereas common seals are almost a third of the size. Grey seal pups are distinctly covered in white fur. Common seal pups, on the other hand, are born with a brown, waterproof coat, making them … [Read more...] about New threats facing Ireland’s seals
Over the past hundred years or so, as farming practices have changed and urban sprawl has extended, the number of areas of wild grasses and wildflowers in Ireland and the UK has significantly dropped. Some organisations state that the loss of ‘unimproved grasslands’ is as high as 99% in Ireland over the past hundred years.WildflowersIt becomes obvious then, if we have … [Read more...] about How Planting a Wildflower Bed Can Boost Local Wildlife
A new research project at the Galway Mayo Institute of Technology (GMIT) in partnership with the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) is looking for public input to analyse seal populations around the Irish coast.The project is being undertaken by German native Kristina Steinmetz, a graduate of the Biodiversity and Conservation MSc. programme at GMIT, as part of … [Read more...] about New Citizen Science Project needs your Seal Sightings!
The National Biodiversity Data Centre (NBDC) has launched a major upgrade to its online data portal, Biodiversity Maps. The new system offers enhanced online access to the Centre's national repository of sightings data, consisting of more than four million verified records from multiple sources spanning almost 16,000 species.The system is free and open to all via the … [Read more...] about New Biodiversity Maps system a “game changer” for conservation
World Land Trust (WLT) is an international conservation charity, which protects the world’s most biologically important and threatened habitats acre by acre. Since its foundation in 1989, WLT has funded partner organisations around the world to create reserves, and give permanent protection to habitats and wildlife.World Land Trust's mission is:To protect and … [Read more...] about The World Land Trust
While in many ways it's fair to say we have more today than we've ever had, if you're more than about thirty years old a short walk in the Irish countryside will quickly reveal that we also have much less.It's an irrefutable fact that there's simply less wildlife around today than there was just a few decades ago. Birds provide the most obvious example of this... simply … [Read more...] about Book Review: Whittled Away — Ireland’s vanishing nature
A new island-wide plan to halt the decline in Ireland's bees and other pollinators was officially launched yesterday by the National Biodiversity Data Centre.Backed by by 68 governmental and non-governmental organisations across the Island of Ireland, the All-Ireland Pollinator Plan 2015-2020 identifies actions we can take on our farmland, public land and private land to … [Read more...] about All Ireland Pollinator Plan good news for bees…. and for people
A rare beluga whale, a species usually only found in Arctic and sub-arctic waters, was captured on camera off the Antrim coastline late last week. This is the first confirmed report of this rare cetacean in Irish waters since the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG) started keeping systematic sightings records in 1991 and only the third ever. The two previous … [Read more...] about Rare beluga whale sighting off Antrim coast
Anyone with an ounce of sense will instantly see the headline above for what it is: sensationalist, ill-informed clap-trap. Nonetheless headlines just like it have been rife across Irish media following calls for a cull of the birds by Senator Denis O'Donovan in the Seanad earlier this week.Here are just some of the questionable headlines, introducing equally … [Read more...] about Seagulls ate my aunty’s dog! Really?
The European Commission is currently reviewing EU legislation as part of a Regulatory Fitness and Performance Programme (REFIT) -- and vital EU conservation laws like the Birds Directive and The Habitats Directive are coming under scrutiny as part of that process.NGOs across the EU are concerned that this review could potentially lead to a weakening of these vital … [Read more...] about Nature Alert: make your voice heard in the EU review of conservation legislation
A young hen harrier has been found shot dead near Waterville in Co. Kerry.The satellite tagged bird-of-prey, a young female dubbed "Heather" by local schoolchildren, was part of a joint project by regional development organisation IRD Duhallow and the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS). Heather became an online star via the Hen Harrier Ireland Blog, with thousands … [Read more...] about Hen Harrier blog-star “Heather” shot dead in Co. Kerry
A review by The Dapartment of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht of legislation under the Wildlife Act that governs the period when hedgerows can be cut has put landowners and environmental groups on a collision course.As it currently stands the legislation prohibits hedge cutting (with certain exceptions) between the 01 March and the 31 August to protect nesting birds and … [Read more...] about Farming organisations and conservationists on collision course over hedge-cutting
Centuries ago wolves roamed the wilds of Ireland. In this full-length feature Ireland's Wildlife contributor Dan Lettice, explores whether or not, one day, they could do so again.... Wolves in Ireland: the background The grey wolf, Canis lupis, was once reasonably common in Ireland and existed on all parts of the Island. The last wolf in Ireland was probably killed … [Read more...] about Re-introducing wolves to Ireland: could we? Should we?
A social media storm is brewing surrounding an ill-informed and disturbingly inaccurate radio interview about birds conducted on the Pat Kenny Show on national Irish radio station Newstalk FM yesterday (Wed 14 January).On the show, host Pat Kenny (pictured left) introduced Biochemistry Professor, Luke O'Niell (yes, you read that right -- a professor of biochemistry), about … [Read more...] about Raptors in the firing line on national radio show
Looking after Ireland's marine environment should be a massive priority for the Irish government, not just because of EU directives and potential sanctions, or the very obvious benefits to our rich coastal biodiversity, but also for moral, social and economic reasons. Peter Green of the Marine and Coastal Protection Areas of Ireland Initiative explains. We … [Read more...] about Conserving Ireland’s Seas: The Marine and Coastal Protection Areas of Ireland initiative
Conservation efforts to save the corncrake from extinction in Ireland appear to be paying dividends. Authorities reported a significant increase in the number of calling male birds during their 2014 corncrake population census, up to 230 from 185 birds recorded last year.The largest concentration of corncrakes was in Donegal, where 156 calling males were recorded, 108 of … [Read more...] about Corncrake numbers rise for second consecutive year
Ireland's largest little tern colony at Kilcoole, Co. Wicklow, has enjoyed a record year in 2014 according to conservationists monitoring the site.Wardens recorded 120 breeding pairs nesting at Kilcoole this season, smashing the previous record of 106 pairs from 2006. According to figures reported on the Kilcoole Little Tern Conservation blog an estimated 219 chicks … [Read more...] about Record year for Irish little tern colony