Hoverfly larvae are about as pretty as any other maggot, but grow into important pollinators and members of our ecosystems, as well as accomplished mimics of bees and wasps. Their nurseries are in stagnant pools of water that are uncommon in most gardens – however, we can help out with nothing more than some garden waste, water, a milk bottle, and a few minutes cutting. Read more
Ireland hosts five species of tern, migratory seabirds which breed on our coasts and inland lakes in the summer months before migrating to warmer climes in the winter. The roseate tern breeds in huge numbers on Rockabill Island, where the colony is vitally important to the species’ European population as a whole. Climate change and invasive species threaten our terns, but work is ongoing to protect them and ensure their breeding success. Read more
Did you know that Ireland is home to several rodent species including the little wood mouse (Apodemus sylvaticus)? Due to its long tail it is often referred to as the ‘long tail field mouse’ and this is where its Irish name ‘Luch Féir’ comes from. They are on average 8-10cm in length and weigh a tiny 25 grams…that is about 5 sugar cubes!
The wood mouse is often mistaken for the common house mouse, although the wood mouse has some distinguishing features including its large eyes, ears, and a much longer tail. Read more
Cork Nature Network have some great tips on how you can help biodiversity from your own back garden. Never underestimate how much you can contribute with a few simple changes. Today we look at how you can give garden birds a helping hand.
Providing a variety of food and shelter will attract different bird species to your garden. One of the most natural and sustainable ways to encourage birds into your own garden is by introducing plants which will provide shelter and an abundant food source such as seeds and berries. Native plants will also encourage native insects into your garden which birds can then feed on. Read more
Why Blend in when you were born to stand out? This could be the motto for species which have evolved to be aposematic. Aposematic variation is a term used to describe species which advertise their defence mechanisms to potential predators. This is usually in the form of bold colours and striking patterns making the species highly visible. It could also be a certain noise they make, protruding spikes, odour, bad taste of the organism or even a chemical deterrent. It is basically a warning sign that says, ‘stay away’. These signs, smells and characteristics of the prey make the predator weary, potentially resulting in the predator avoiding the prey altogether. Read more
Have you ever been out in the Irish countryside, soaking up the view of the fields, hills, woodlands, maybe a bumbling stream in the background, and SUDDENLY your eye catches an Irish Hare! Over there, running across the field, at full speed, it is huge, you can see the white of its tail! Read more
Irish waters are home to two different species of seal – the grey seal, and the common seal, which is also sometimes called the harbour seal. Read more
Freshwater pearl mussels are molluscs that help to filter the water of our rivers and lakes. They have a fascinating life cycle that depends on using salmon and trout as nurseries! Sadly, the mussel is sensitive to environmental change, and is threatened by pollution of the water in which it lives. By managing the waste products of farming and forestry, we can help to not only save the mussel, but also the pristine waterways in which it lives.
Happy International Otter Day!
Otters can be recognised by their long, sleek bodies, long tails and short legs. Otters can be found all over Ireland, wherever there is a body of water. They can live anywhere from small streams, to rivers and along coastal areas. Read more