Posts Tagged ‘urban ecology’

Swan wrangling in the Pale

Swan wrangling in the Pale

By EcoEvo@TCD | Research

For those of us with an interest in the natural world, Mute Swans (Cygnus olor) are a staple of urban wildlife in Dublin, present in many parks and along both canals. However, it has been 25 years since there has been any real assessment of the state of the Mute Swan population in the Dublin region (1). This has been a period of immense change in the urban landscape. Mute Swan © Graham Prole   This summer, the Irish Midlands Ringing Group (IMRG) started a monitoring project to assess the state of the Mute Swan population in [&hellip

Birds near airports work the early shift for the dawn chorus

Birds near airports work the early shift for the dawn chorus

By EcoEvo@TCD | Research

Early morning flights are a pain: nobody likes rolling out of bed at the crack of dawn. But if you’ve spent a few bleary-eyed mornings at airports, spare a thought for the local residents. Birds rely on their song to find a mate and keep intruders out of their territory: not an easy task when you’re competing with the roar of a 747 taking off at 290 km/h. Now, research by scientists in Spain and Germany has found that birds living near major airports sing earlier in the morning to avoid being drowned out by aircraft noise. Researchers [&hellip

The VIP Tweetment

The VIP Tweetment

By EcoEvo@TCD | Research

As part of an ongoing census of the birds of Trinity College, we surveyed their diversity just outside our door. Authors Trinity College Zoology Students Photo Credit Trinity College Zoology Students   &nbsp

Geese vs. Cyclists

Geese vs. Cyclists

By EcoEvo@TCD | Perspectives

From October onwards, when most of our resident wildlife is battening down the hatches to endure the impending bleak winter months, flocks of Brent Geese are very welcome visitors to Ireland. Their arduous journey to our shores is impressive for both its distance (approximately 3,000km from Arctic Canada) and the route taken: long-distance sea voyages punctuated by stop-overs in Greenland and Iceland before they reach Ireland. The necessity to escape harsh Arctic winters is very understandable. What’s not clear is why Brent geese undertake Atlantic crossings instead of following other geese species that journey south across the [&hellip

Fantastic Mr Fox

Fantastic Mr Fox

By EcoEvo@TCD | Perspectives

At the launch of our recent college Green Week, Trinity College presented the final stages of its bid to secure the Green Flag Award. Part of the assessment comprised a summary of the plants and animals which, along with the rarefied species of Drama studientis and the Lesser Spotted Theoretical Physicist, contribute to campus biodiversity. Foxes were included in this list which surprised me since I had never come across one campus. Happily though, last Friday evening one made an appearance just in time for the end of Green Week. Displaying the characteristic “boldness” of its habituation [&hellip

City slickers

City slickers

By EcoEvo@TCD | Perspectives

Typically, when humans and wildlife meet it’s curtains for the latter. Think of all the megafaunal extinctions in the past and the mounting evidence that we’re responsible for an ongoing sixth mass extinction event. Aside from directed extermination we can change the environment over a very short time-scale to suit our needs and other lifeforms are often left playing catchup. This is especially true for plants and animals (microorganisms have such short turnovers that we don’t really impact them in this way); the plight of the blue swallow isn’t top of an industrialist’s list of priorities. Despite these radical [&hellip