Winter is here, our native deciduous trees have lost their leaves, winter migrating bird species, such as redwings and Brent geese have arrived, and mammals are slowing down their activity. However, there is no rest for the RaptorLIFE team! The following provides a short update on what we have been up to.
Fencing of river banks
HEN HARRIER PRODUCTIVITY AND NEST SUCCESS
A total of 39 sites were monitored across all regions as part of the satellite tagging projects with the highest fledging success rates in the Ballyhouras and the lowest in the Slieve Blooms. A high failure rate in the Blooms, with three pairs failing early in the season and predation proven or suspected in another four cases, contrasted with good nest success rates estimated for the Ballyhouras and Duhallow regions.
SATELLITE TAGGING IN 2016
By excluding livestock from rivers, fencing reduces pollutants such as bacteria, nutrients, and silt getting into the water.
Since June, IRD Duhallow have erected 9.2km of new fencing and 17 cattle drinking troughs, with more lined up, at no cost to landowners.
As an added incentive, landowners in the GLAS agri-environmental scheme receive payment for the fencing work done by IRD Duhallow.
A big congratulations to Jack Murphy, Michael Sheehan and their teacher Derry Donovan for their fantastic achievement. IRD Duhallow and RaptorLIFE are proud to have been involved in the mentoring of this project. The students picked up a total of 3 awards: Best in Group - Biological and Ecological, Runner up over all in the whole event and the EPA award for Best Environmental project.
The pupils of the 5th and 6th classes in the girls national school, under the guidance of the Green Schools Co-ordinator Úna Meehan, were narrowly beaten (by half a point!) into second place in the Water Explorers Program. The Water Explorer Program is a fun interactive educational resource program, aimed at National School children to learn about water issues and to act on them. http://www.globalactionplan.ie/education/water-explorer/
It may look beautiful but Japanese knotweed is proving to be a major environmental headache in both Cork and Kerry. However, help is at hand as Dr Ilse Corkery, RaptorLIFE Project Scientist at IRD Duhallow has, with her team completed an intense couple of months treating Japanese knotweed in Duhallow.
As part of their work, “Do not cut” signs were erected throughout Duhallow including roads in Kerry, which are within the project area of the upper Blackwater catchment and the Mullaghereiks SPA (Special Protected Area).
Autumn has definitely arrived with swallows and martins preparing to leave and rowan trees and hawthorn laden with fruit.
It’s a busy time of year for the RaptorLIFE team. The following provides a short update on what we have been up to.
Hen harrier monitoring