Following the success of the first two talks as part of MulkearLIFE’s February Series of Illustrated Talks an extremely large crowd is now expected for next week’s talk by Dr. Alan Mee on Monday 20 February 2012.
The first talk in the series was presented by Mr. Ruairí Ó Conchúir and focused on the project’s work with otters in the Mulkear catchment. A large crowd attended, including a significant number of Mulkear Conservation Volunteer members who had been actively involved in otter survey work in 2010 and 2011 and in the installation of artificial otter holts. Mr. Ó Conchúir outlined the methodology followed to undertake the catchment wide surveys. He also outlined the project’s work to introduce new habitat for otter and the work to install new artificial otter holts. Following his talk an interesting and lively discussion took place on the work of the project and on the support role of the Mulkear Conservation Volunteers. The night was an enjoyable affair for all in attendance.
Mulkear Conservation Volunteers install otter holt, Oct. 2011 (Image: Ruairí Ó Conchúir)
Dr. Fiona Kelly, Senior Researcher with Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI), gave a fantastic illustrated talk on Irish Water Quality last night (13 February 2012). Her talk focused on water quality as she outlined in considerable detail how good water quality is of such critical importance in Ireland’s rivers, lakes and estuaries.
Dr. Fiona Kelly presents at IFI Limerick, 13 February 2012 (Image: Ruairí Ó Conchúir)
Dr. Kelly outlined her work nationally to monitor water quality and the interconnection between the type and abundance of fish and water quality. She illustrated how the monitoring work of Inland Fisheries Ireland helps to ensure good water quality. Dr. Kelly outlined in stark detail the effects of water pollution in freshwater rivers and lakes and the impact this can have not just on fish, but also on habitat type and most importantly on water quality for human use and the quality on local groundwater. Her talk attracted considerable interest and debate. A lively debate ensued with input from a body of local anglers and from several local farmers present.
There are now two talks left as part of the February series. An extremely large crowd is now expected for next Monday’s talk (20th February 2012) entitled "White Tailed Sea Eagles on the Lower Shannon – A Dream or a Possibility?" to be given by Dr. Allan Mee who works as manager of the White Tailed Sea Eagle Reintroduction Project in Killarney National Park.
White Tailed Sea Eagle catching a fish (Image: Courtesy of Frog Blog)
A large crowd is also expected for the final talk in the series by Dr. Ferdia Marnell entitled "The Conservation Status of Irish Terrestrial Mammals – From Black Rats to Brandt’s Bats" on Monday 27th February 2012. Dr. Marnell heads up the Animal Ecology Team in the National Parks & Wildlife Service. His talk will focus on this Red Data List and the conservation status of Irish terrestrial mammals.
Pigmy shrew, below Annacotty weir, Mulkear River (Image: Ruairí Ó Conchúir)