Ballydangan Bog Project

RaptorLIFE visited Ballydangan Bog Project to view first hand the excellent work being carried out on their project. Ballydangan is a 240 ha of restored high bog in County Roscommon, with three other bogs being managed too. The project aims to reverse the decline of red grouse in This is achieved through a range of best-practice red grouse conservation strategies including heather management,...

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RaptorLIFE Newsletter - Summer 2017

The long days of summer are finally here, and the countryside is alive with colourful flowers and animals busily tending to their young. The RaptorLIFE team have also been busy! The following provides a short update on what we have been up to.. Prey monitoringThe team have been busy recording both the number and types of small mammals and birds on all our project farms. This allows us to...

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Ladybirds and citizen science talk

Come join us for a free talk by Gill Weymen. Held at IRD Duhallow from 7pm and refreshments will be provided. WE will follow the talk by a hunt for native ladybirds in the grounds of of the James O'Keeffe Institute and will record our findings as part of the 2017 All Ireland Ladybird Survey.

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Free Talk: Angling and our Rivers in Duhallow

Come join us for a free talk by Tom Ankettell from the Duhallow Angling Centre of Excellence. Held at IRD Duhallow from 7pm and refreshments will be provided. An evening to learn all about an area of outstanding angling and freshwater species!

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RaptorLIFE Newsletter- Spring 2017

format="ckeditor" different_values="0"Spring is finally here, birds including robins, song thrushes and mistle thrushes are already singing, the buds of birch, oak and hazel are bursting, and flowers are blooming. The RaptorLIFE team are also rearing to go! The following provides a short update on what we are up to. Creation of wildlife corridor RaptorLIFE has started work on a joint project...

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Owls and Merlin in Duhallow Talk

Come join us for a free talk by BirdWatch Ireland's John Lusby! Held at IRD Duhallow from 7pm and refreshments will be provided. An evening to learn all about our native owls and merlin!

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RaptorLIFE Newsletter - Winter 2016/2017

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 banksOur crews have been working hard fencing the banks of the Araglin and...

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Hen harrier tagging project roundup 2016

HEN HARRIER PRODUCTIVITY AND NEST SUCCESSA 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...

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Article in the Irish Examiner

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....

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Hen harriers flew it at the BT Young Scientists

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. This again...

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RaptorLIFE inspiring our young Water Explorers

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....

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Article in the Corkman

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...

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RaptorLIFE Newsletter – Autumn 2016

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 monitoringA big thank you to all the volunteers who gave up many hours of their time to help out with hen harrier monitoring over the last few...

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Revealing Our Raptors Event

Come join us for Revealing our Raptors! Held at IRD Duhallow from 1.30 - 4.30pm. A day to learn all about our native birds of prey, a free event suitable for all ages!

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Introducing Fionn (male, tag no. 160250)

This male was tagged on 7/7 at a site in the Ballyhoura Hills, North Cork, at approx. 28 days old. It’s nest site was in dense heather/gorse among 2nd rotation conifers, quite close to a used track high up the mountainside. This male was one of a brood of 3 that fledged successfully from the nest. After fledging he remained in the nest area for some weeks when he could be heard calling/begging...

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Introducing Fraoch (female, tag no. 160251)

This female was tagged on the 15th of July at an approximate age of 24-26 days. The nest was located at a traditional bramble and rush site in the Mullaghareirk Mountains in Co. Cork. Monitored by both staff and volunteers as part of IRD Duhallow’s RaptorLIFE project, the chick was in a brood of 2 and was the heaviest of all the 10 chicks tagged this year. The nest was located in a firebreak...

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Not every chick will make it….

As part of this research 10 hen harrier chicks were tagged from ten different nests within the Slieve Blooms, Ballyhouras, Knockmealdown and Mullaghareirks mountains. Recent analysis of the incoming tracking data shows that that at least five of these birds are alive and well. Unfortunately, some of the tags are recording little to no activity (movement) indicating that these birds may have died...

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Tracking Irish hen harriers - tagging

Studying Irish hen harriers can be challenging. Many of us have taken part in the most recent national survey (2015) and enjoyed some great days out, perhaps the first sky-dancing male of the season or finding a pair at a new site or the first food-pass and female returning to a nest site. All this helps to give us a more or less complete picture of the status of Irish hen harriers and population...

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Welcome to Hen Harrier Tracker

RaptorLIFE have been busy this summer monitoring hen harrier – a big thank you to all the volunteers who gave up many hours of their time to help out! The season culminated with a total of ten chicks satellite tagged, with four of those from the Duhallow region. This is a joint project between RaptorLIFE, the National Parks & Wildlife Service (NPWS) and the Irish Raptor Study Group. All three...

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Article in the Kerryman

Short-eared owls nesting next door to Kerry? SIR, I would like to let readers of The Kerryman know more about a very rare bird – the short-eared owl – whose last confirmed breeding location within the Republic of Ireland was in Kerry in 1985. Short-eared owls have been seen on a number of occasions in East Kerry this summer by the RaptorLIFE project at IRD Duhallow (based in Newmarket). The...

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Article in the Corkman

FIGHTING THE INVADERS The Himalayan balsam, which was originally introduced as an ornamental plant has left its presence known as it is now classified as an invasive alien species of EU concern. However as part of IRD Duhallow’s conservation work, the RaptorLIFE project is fast tackling the invasive species along the 126 kilometres of river, with the ultimate long term aim of eradicating it...

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Article in the Evening Echo

Computer games are often blamed for children spending less time outside. However, the new app Pokémon Go, is taking the world by storm and may in fact be good for promoting nature. It has already contributed in a small way to public engagement with nature. While searching outside for computer generated Pokémon, many gamers have also encountered real-life animals along the way. The hashtag #...

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Freshwater workshop - 11am Saturday 13th August 2016

FREE EVENT - Led by Freshwater Ecologist Dr. David McCormick When: Saturday 13th August 2016 - 11am to 4pm Where: IRD Duhallow, James O'Keeffe Institute, Newmarket, Co.Cork - 11am Presentation on Freshwater Ecology - 12pm lunch provided - 12:30 Interactive fieldtrip to investigate native fish and freshwater insects   REGISTRATION REQUIRED: If interested please contact the IRD...

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Tackling Himalayan balsam

According to the World Conservation Union, invasive alien species are the second most significant threat to biodiversity, after habitat loss. Most introduced species do not become permanently established in their new environment, and of those that do, most never become a problem. However, the odd introduction thrives and flourishes in their new location, and out-competes native plants and...

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The Amazing Swift Talk - 7:30pm, Thursday 23rd June 2016

The Duhallow Birdwatching group and IRD Duhallow RaptorLIFE are hosting an information Seminar on Thursday 23rd June entitled “The Amazing Swift” with guest Speaker Lynda Huxley. The Swift is an enigmatic bird that comes to our towns and villages from May through to August. They are truly amazing birds as they fly for most of their lives, only landing to breed. When a fledgling swift leaves...

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Standing up for our Freshwater Pearl Mussels

Like the canary in the coalmine, Freshwater Pearl Mussels are an indicator of the health of Ireland’s rivers. With a lifespan of up to 120 years, the mussels were once widespread, but are now found in very few catchments. Ireland is estimated to hold around 46% of Europe’s Freshwater Pearl Mussel population, with the Munster Blackwater catchment said to have a large part of the national...

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Results of 2015 National Hen Harrier Survey are out and show further declines for Ireland’s skydancer

The 2015 National Survey of Hen Harriers (the fourth national survey since 1998-2000) has shown that the Irish population has experienced further declines, including within some former strongholds for the species. The 2015 survey showed there are between 108 and 157 breeding pairs across Ireland, down by 8.7% since the last survey in 2010. However, increased survey effort complicates comparisons...

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Monitoring completed on important Hen Harrier winter roost

Survey work is now drawing to a close on what is possibly Ireland's most  significant winter roost for Hen harrier. Since early November 2015 volunteers have been surveying the winter roost, which is located outside of the Special Area of Protection, with the RaptorLIFE team based here in IRD Duhallow. Under the direction of Dr. Brin McDonnell, who is the local expert on Hen harrier, the...

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Raptor LIFE welcomes movement on new Hen Harrier scheme

Recent announcements to the media regarding Agri-environment schemes for farmers are to be welcomed. A major source of frustration for farming communities in upland areas has been the State's conservation strategies aimed at the conservation of Hen harrier. Whilst there has been a drive to develop the uplands in many areas for wind energy and previously for industrial scale commercial forestry,...

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European LIFE conference on Nature Conservation in Duhallow

So finally as we are coming to the end of the IRD DuhallowLIFE project and the beginning of a new EU LIFE project; RaptorLIFE. To celebrate these two momentous occasions we recently held a two day project conference in Newmarket. Co Cork.  The first day (May21st) of this two day conference marked the end of the four and half year EU LIFE project, known as DuhallowLIFE. This project,...

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