Nature and wildlife bodies should have resources to go green by example

The plan announced by forestry agency Coillte this week to turn some State forests into recreational areas is very welcome.

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Letter to the Editor: Pesticide a threat to salmon and to the Feale river

The late English poet laureate Ted Hughes described salmon as “sensitive glands in the vast, dishevelled body of nature, as individual meteorological stations responding to rain, storm, and wind”.

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Beach owners in US asked to allow whale carcasses to rot in peace

The request comes because of the large numbers of dead grey whales being washed ashore off the US West Coast.

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Coillte's new non-profit to focus on species diversity and biodiversity

Coillte has established a new, non-profit wing that will focus on species diversity and biodiversity.

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Over 500 plants species became extinct in the past 250 years, study finds

More than 500 species of plants have disappeared in the past 250 years - more than twice the number of birds, mammals and amphibians recorded as extinct, according to a new study.

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Honey bee colonies down 12% in Ireland, international study finds

Researchers surveyed 25,363 beekeepers across 33 countries in Europe along with Algeria, Israel and Mexico.

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Alarming decline in insects means a fall in bird populations

A huge decline in farmland birds in Europe is believed to be mirrored here. Another reason, perhaps, why so many extra voters turned to the Green party in the local and European elections.

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Mums rule the roost in bonobo society

Young male orcas are mammy’s boys.

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It's about time areas catered for the kind of tourists they want

As I just wrote to friends living on a Mediterranean island: “It’s been summer here for the last few weeks, wonderful weather, 18C to 20C, but everything is very green or flowery, all the whitethorns in bloom and a procession of wildflowers in the ditches and on the old stone wall, mixes of colours and forms and vegetable constructions to take the breath away."

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Gardening: Something for everyone at Chelsea Flower Show

Brexit meant the Chelsea Flower Show was an all-UK affair, but it didn’t disappoint Peter Dowdall.

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Why you should go hug a tree

Ready to embrace the natural world? Fiann Ó Nualláin outlines how it will benefit you.

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World Bee Day: Why are they so important?

Today is World Bee Day and a new report has found that many species of bees are actually on the brink of extinction.

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Donal Hickey: Recovery in native trees

There are some signs that we may be moving away from a saturation of conifers towards more broadleaf and native trees.

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On a wing and a prayer for our old friend Ron

The heron that was regular feature in our garden since we raised it from a lost fledgling to adulthood has been absent for three weeks, presumed dead.

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Lords of the natural world we survey, there may soon be little left

In every generation there is a new Frankenstein.

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Time to cherish our trees

HAVING a little time to spare on a visit to Cork last week, a walk into the UCC campus from the Western Road side was an enticing option. The freshly-greening trees were the magnet, surely one of the best views the college has to offer.

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Marginal ring ouzel could be next to disappear

WE WORRY that curlews and corncrakes are disappearing, but other species are going to the wall unlamented.

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Wealth inequality behind the extinction of mammals

IIN January 2019, Oxfam published figures showing that the 26 richest billionaires on earth own the same wealth as the 3.8bn people who make up the poorest half of the earth’s population. The ratio is 26: 3,800,000,000,000. Some world we live in, when you come to think of it. How did we get it so wrong?

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Local authorities: busy enough in the battle for Ireland’s bees?

The annual Biodiversity and Councils’ All-Ireland Pollinator conference put the spotlight on local authorities’ vital role in protecting threatened pollinators, writes Ellie O’Byrne

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Owl capable of eating deer has gone missing in Kildare

An eagle owl, with a wingspan of 6 ft 5 in and capable of eating a fully grown deer has gone missing in Kildare.

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Opening Lines: Amongst us stupid people, I think finally weeds are having a moment

I’ve always had a certain respect for weeds. They have been worthy adversaries.

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Top score for field protection

The recent splendid spell of weather prompted some readers to inquire if we had yet heard the cuckoo.

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Bumbles disperse to spread the seed far away

Precious bumblebees have been on the wing since January, perhaps courtesy of climate change.

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April’s changeable weather makes for unpredictable walk

April walks are a bagatelle, new turns in the weather every half hour.

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Snorkeller swept into mouth of baleen whale

According to South Africa’s New Straits Times, a 51-year-old conservationist has become a second Jonah; he was swept into a whale’s mouth.

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Fiennes has no plans to hang up his ice pick

Ranulph Fiennes has survived many tight spots as the world’s greatest living explorer, but one of the first risks he took landed him

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Watch: Pregnant manta ray spotted 6,000km from home

Scientists filmed the creature swimming in the Eastern Pacific, near Costa Rica.

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Sonar sounds cause whales to stop feeding and flee, study finds

Resarchers found that one bottlenose whale dived for a record length of time for its species to avoid the noise.

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Garden birds refuse to be boxed in

With a few exceptions, all the birds of town parks and gardens belong to a single branch of the avian family tree. They are known as the ‘passerines’. ‘Passer’ is the Latin for ‘sparrow’ and ‘passerine’ means ‘perching bird’.

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Changeable temperatures herald ‘confused’ climate

I don’t know why we bothered to go to the Med for part of the winter when we could have been sunbathing in Ireland, at least up to two weeks ago. Now, we hear that there was snow in Killarney yesterday.

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Public places beyond wildest dreams

Transforming public spaces into wild areas benefits everyone, according to Peter Dowdall.

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Get wise about growing sage

Fiann Ó Nualláin is a fan of this hardy perennial that has a variety of both culinary and medicinal uses.

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Rain brings ‘super bloom’ of wildflowers to desert area in California

The colour is so vivid it can be seen from mountain tops thousands of feet above.

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The plants that brave the elements to adapt to their local climate

Plants need to be able to tolerate everything the local climate has to throw at them, says Peter Dowdall.

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Video shows rare whale and calf swimming with dolphins off Florida coast

Scientists estimate there are just 450 individuals of the species remaining.

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DONAL HICKEY: Address the burning question

People living in the foothills of mountains where gorse fires, many illegal, burn dangerously close to their homes are again waiting with trepidation to see what the forthcoming burning season will bring. Wild animals and birds for which this rugged terrain provides natural habitat could again be threatened by out-of-control fires in the next few months, writes Donal Hickley.

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Fish, mirrors, and test of self-awareness

Scientists at the Max Planck Institute claim that fish have passed the ‘mirror test’. Cleaner wrasse, just a few centimetres long, are the first of their kind to do so and must now be admitted to an exclusive animal club, to which only self-aware creatures belong, writes Richard Collins.

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Laying bare the real truth about naturism

Taking in the warmth of the sun on your bare butt while trying not to stare at anyone’s penile jewellery is easier said than done, says Kelli Maria Korducki.

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Danes not sitting on fence with wild boar problem

With Donald Trump’s plans, and the shenanigans of the Brexiteers, frontier barriers are in the news. Now the Danes are building a fence along their southern border.

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Mouthwatering facts about revered Darwin’s dining habits

It is certainly spring here in Ibiza and I have a difficult choice to make, whether to write about this Balearic island’s crowded history or the beauty of its wild and cultivated flora, now all coming into bloom. Also, I’d like to relate some intriguing facts I’ve unearthed about history’s most revered naturalist.

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Let’s hear it for the blackbird

Blackbirds seem to be in full voice now, perhaps making the most of lengthening daylight hours to enchant us with their song at dawn and dusk.

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The Islands of Ireland: Message from Moynish More

This relatively large island in Clew Bay, Co Mayo, is the westernmost in this fascinating bay. It was the first island that shipping bound for the town of Westport would have passed.

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Rhino poaching drops to below 1,000 for first time in five years, but elephant figure rises

The number of rhino that were poached for their horns dropped to below 1,000 in 2018, according to a report released by Environmental Affairs Minister Nomvula Mokonyane.

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Single wave energy device could power 100 homes, experts claim

A team at the University of Edinburgh has been working with researchers in Italy to develop the new renewable energy system.

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Study shows insects may be on brink of extinction

The study published in the Scientific Review shows that over 40% of insect species are threatened worldwide.

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Rare Malayan tapir born at Edinburgh Zoo

The male calf, which has not been named yet, was born to mother Sayang and father Mowgli on January 31.

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Invasive snakes threaten native lizard species on Ibiza

Snakes never reached Ireland. writes Damien Enright. Islands often escape them — New Zealand, Newfoundland, Iceland and Greenland have no snakes nor, until recently, did the island of Ibiza in the Balearics, off the Mediterranean coast of Spain.

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Donal Hickey: Habitat decline hits birds

Last week’s column on the impact of modern farming on wildlife brought reaction from a number of readers who also felt the Bride River Project, in east Cork that we mentioned might be a model for others, writes Donal Hickey.

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Temperatures are plummeting: 5 reasons to love the cold weather

Here’s how to make the best of a cold situation.

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Damien Enright: Happily 'Ron' knows nothing of danger we have put him in

Carbon in the atmosphere is creating climate change. We all know this, writes Damien Enright.

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Richard Collins: Species doing their best to put up with us

We are the neighbours from Hell, as far as wild creatures are concerned, writes Richard Collins.

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The beauty and unusual beasts of nature

The extravagant splendour of the animal kingdom is prompting scientists to rethink evolution, writes Ferris Jabr.

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Mouse spotted making dash for freedom during Scottish Parliament meeting

A rodent ran along the edge of the room at Holyrood during an Education Committee hearing.

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Declining bee numbers in ‘Eco Eye’ spotlight

Irish bumblebee numbers are declining at an alarming rate every year, according to a top scientist.

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Winter light in Ibiza will do the cranky soul well

A man paying for his groceries at a supermarket checkout asks the cashier: “Can I have a plastic bag, please?”

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Winds of change blow for plant survival

The windscreen of my father’s Ford prefect was peppered with dead insects. Even short journeys, especially nocturnal ones, added to the carnage.

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Nature can save planet earth

Everyone wants to save the planet from global warming, and the focus has been on reducing fossil fuels for energy creation. This trend is likely to continue, but it’s not the only way to combat climate change.

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A fondness for the flowers of winter

If you have a fondness for the flowers of winter, the annual Snowdrop Gala in Tullow is a must, writes Peter Dowdall.

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Three wise gifts and the miracleof nature

Fiann Ó Nualláin takes a closer look at the healing properties of those generous offerings of gold, frankincense and myrrh.

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Elephant ivory reveals DNA of extinct woolly mammoth

The find was made by a team at the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland.

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