Earlier this year, in the midst of lockdown, Ireland's Wildlife Contributor Albert Nolan took his children to a river near his home to explore its hidden wildlife.We took the short trip to Toorenbrien Bridge, careful not to stray over our allotted 2km lockdown radius. Here there is a large parking space and the kids and I were going kick sampling in the river. This is … [Read more...] about The hidden life of rivers
For the last few days, I have been watching a beautiful male blackbird in the garden. He arrives around the same time every day, flying up from the wooded valley that runs away from my house.I am not sure if my garden forms part of his territory or he is just visiting for a quick meal. We think our green spaces belong to us but at this time of the year birds and other … [Read more...] about Going wild at home: The Blackbird.
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
In this guest post, contributor Charlotte Klassa takes a closer look at many people's favourite Irish seabird, the colourful and charismatic Puffin.The Atlantic Puffin is a strange bird. It looks like a penguin and a toucan rolled into one. This is the tell-tale sign of the auk family of birds: that butler-like dignity and tail-coat. People can concentrate on this plump … [Read more...] about Puffins of Ireland
Ireland's Wildlife contributor Albert Nolan takes a walk around the woodland nature trail at the Glen of Aherlow in County Tipperary... and discovers a hidden world of wildlife.Dark, threatening clouds were rolling across the Galtees and spilling into the Glen of Aherlow as I pulled into the car park. Showers of rain splattered against the car testing my resolve as I … [Read more...] about The hidden creatures of the Glen — Glen of Aherlow nature trail
A new biodiversity art project aimed at Ireland's youth is looking to spread the word about Ireland's amazing wildlife far and wide with postcards. Founders Eileen Diskin and Angela Stevenson explain...A survey several years ago in the UK found that the general public is largely unfamiliar with the term ‘biodiversity’, with many respondents thinking it to be a type … [Read more...] about The Wild Postcard Project: boosting awareness of Ireland’s Biodiversity
Just over a year ago the Herpetological Society of Ireland (HSI) was called out to a site in Kildare where hundreds of common frogs were lying dead. Thankfully, one year on things seem to have improved, but the exact cause of the mass mortality remains a mystery... Rob O'Sullivan, PR Officer with the HSI explains. On the 24th of February last year, The … [Read more...] about Frogs bounce back at Kildare site after unexplained 2014 deaths
Following on from research by Dr Emma Sheehy at the National University of Ireland, Galway, a team at Queens University Belfast is trying to shed light on what exactly is going on in the interaction between red squirrels, grey squirrels and pine martens -- and they need your help. Researcher Lily Price explains....A glimmer of hope for the long-term future of the … [Read more...] about Does the Pine marten have a role to play in the conservation of the red squirrel?
RSPB Northern Ireland's Belfast Lough nature reserve at Belfast Harbour Estate has undergone extensive refurbishment to give it a renewed WOW factor. Media and Events Officer Amy Colvin explains what all the fuss is about.Belfast’s Harbour Estate isn't the sort of place you’d expect nature to flourish - but prepare to be WOWed!Its origins can be traced back … [Read more...] about WOW: RSPB Northern Ireland’s new and improved Belfast Lough reserve
You have to walk through a lot of farmer’s fields today before you find a good patch of thistles.This strange thought occurred to me the other day after several strolls in the countryside around my house. For a plant that the books claim is extremely common I found it very hard to locate. At least the ones in my garden are doing well and despite having a formidable defence … [Read more...] about Jinny go up: the story of the thistle
I was born in London but whenever anyone asks me where I’m from my stock answer is always that I am a black, Afropean, child of the earth and Honorary Irishman. I particularly cherish the ‘Honorary Irishman’ bit of my epithet because I really do feel a close affinity with the Emerald Isle. When I first came into this world my early days were spent in northwest London, initially … [Read more...] about The Urban Birder in Ireland
"So that’s what my breath looks like!" exclaimed my young daughter as we walked up to school on a cold and frosty morning. They had been busy breathing in deep lungfuls of the autumn air and watching excitedly as it escaped through their cupped hands. The novelty had long worn off for me and I encouraged them up the road with the promise of one more treat before their school … [Read more...] about Secrets of the Sycamore
Brian Caffrey, co-ordinator of BirdTrack for Irish partner organisation, Birdwatch Ireland, introduces this new tool for recording and managing your personal bird records, and contributing to a body of data that helps inform bird conservation on a local, regional, national and international level.BirdTrack (www.birdtrack.net) is an exciting project that looks at … [Read more...] about BirdTrack… a smart new way to record the birds you see
Dr. Una Fitzpatrick, Ecologist with the National Biodiversity Data Centre, explains why we need to conserve our pollinators, and how you can help.The staggering value of pollination Pollination services provided by insects, mainly bees, have been valued at €153 billion a year. With 71 out of the 100 crops that provide 90% of food worldwide being pollinated by bees, we … [Read more...] about Irish Pollinator Initiative: driving bee conservation through better data
Dr Eugenie Regan from the National Biodiversity Data Centre introduces us to Ireland's three species of earwig.Earwigs are an unloved group of insects. They generate reactions of disgust from the general public, are considered by most a pest, and are surely one of the reasons that insects have a bad name. But they are also a fascinating animal. For example, did you know … [Read more...] about Irish Earwigs: the caring nature of a much maligned insect