Science Communication Archive

Waterford Estuary Otter Survey

I was recently awarded a grant from The Heritage Council to conduct an otter survey along the Waterford Estuary. This project will study the distribution of otters in the Waterford Estuary combining …

The Bat with the Identity Crisis

The Bat with the Identity Crisis or “Will the real Myotis nattereri please stand up?”  By Andrew Harrington. There is a misfortunate bat species that is going through a bit …

How to Look for Squirrels

The Eurasian red squirrel is, in my opinion at least, one of the cutest additions to the Irish countryside. The little ear tufts of the red squirrel help differentiate …

Feeding the Buzzards

Birds of Prey in Ireland  About 100 years ago, Ireland was devoid of large birds of prey like buzzards, red kites and golden eagles. Their populations were decimated by …

How to Look for Pine Marten

The pine marten (Martes martes) is making a recovery across Ireland, and is one our most beautiful but elusive mammals. It is notoriously difficult to see as it tends …

How to Look for Otters

In the first of a new series of posts about “How to Look for Mammals“, I take a look at one of our semi aquatic species, the Eurasian otter. …

How to Look for Mammals

I was fortunate to have the opportunity to present a workshop at the National Biodiversity Data Centre on Saturday September 13th on the art of “Tracking Ireland’s Mammals”. This was …

Wind Turbines Pose Risk to Bats

The Drive for Green Energy We need sustainable, affordable and clean energy production to fuel the economy, and the drive towards more environmentally friendly energy production versus coal and …

Attraction in the World of Bats

We spend much of our lives attempting to figure out the opposite sex in the hopes that it will lead to increased opportunities to attract a mate. But even when in a relationship, looking …

Nietoperek Revisited

This post was written by Andrew Harrington You might remember last year Denise wrote an article on this blog about the Nietoperek bat reserve in Poland, which is one …

The Urban Otter

The banks of our own lovely Lee are not just a pretty place for a walk, the Lee is an important place for the otter, often described as our …

The “Infallible” DNA Test

Foxes (Vulpes vulpes) and pine marten (Martes martes) produce scats (faeces) that look quite similar. There are a list of rules, suggestions, smells and descriptions used by field naturalists …

Eye of the Tiger

A new study on the genetic structure of the Indian tiger has found that the current  tiger population now only retain a small proportion of the historical mitochondrial DNA …

The Boar Truth

The first wild boar I saw were not wild per se, but were held in a captive programme near Białowieża Forest, Poland. The park contains many other large wild …

The Artful Badger

Last year, I published a paper with my co-authors about the  genetic history of badgers in Ireland. Similar to my post last week, it appears that like the pine marten, …

Farmed mink escapee?

The American mink (Neovision vison) is well established in Ireland due to the importation of animals for fur farming since 1950. In 1960 it was thought there were  60 breeders …

A wolf in dog’s clothing?

When I first visited the Zumwalt Prairie, NE  Oregon in 2007, wolves were still absent from the area. Wolves from the translocated population in Yellowstone were at the time expanding …

The parasite woe

While walking  through the cow shed, Jimmy sees a couple of cows grouped together in the corner. He instinctively knows that something is wrong. As he gets closer, he …

The Bug Reveal

In the words of Tyler DeWitt, “let me tell you a story”. Today’s story is about a fly, a carrion fly that eats the rotting carcasses of animals. This little fly …