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Rewilding – being thrown to the wolves?

In the last few weeks alone, we have heard exciting news of bison returning to the UK and the purchasing of a 500 hectare estate near Loch Ness with the aim of restoring wildlife. These are just the latest examples of ambitious ‘rewilding’ projects, which are seeking to restore our biodiversity at a time when 15% of our species are at threat of extinction.

Whilst there is great excitement about rewilding in some quarters, myths and controversy also stalk this new approach to conservation. Talk of roaming packs of wolves, cruelty to animals and the loss of precious farmland, has meant that the very term ‘rewilding’ hangs heavy with connotations. This blog seeks to unpick what rewilding is and explores its potential for protecting the environment.

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Tales from the watering hole

My name is Cathal Flood. I am a postgraduate researcher at Maynooth University. I am also a member of a local citizen science project in Emyvale, County Monaghan in Ireland led by Enda Fields of DkIT and Leo McMahon, a local angler whose father was bailiff of Emy Lough for many years. I have found local knowledge so informative and inspiring as I did my thesis.

 

What do we do?

We take part in monthly testing of various water quality parameters in the Emyvale catchment and compare this testing to some taking place at Maynooth University.

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COVID19: How should citizen science respond?

There is no denying that COVID-19 poses a global challenge. However, as with many of the other issues that society faces, its positive and negative effects are spread unevenly. While some of those who have been infected by the virus have been hospitalised - incapacitated to the extent they need the help of a ventilator to breathe - others have symptoms so mild they have never even noticed they were host to the virus. While some families have mourned the loss of loved ones, others have remained largely unaffected, itching for a return to normality.  

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