The barn owl: there may be more kitschified cartoon owls on pencil cases in Irish classrooms than breeding pairs in the wild. Photograph: Birdwatch Ireland

Of the 450-odd species of bird we have in Ireland, barn owls must be one of the most enigmatic: full-moon faces, pearly-white feathered breasts, and d(...)

Kate Keena (11) at the launch of Ireland’s first native woodlands strategy in Ballycoyle Woodlands, Glencree, Co Wicklow in 2016.  Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Are you off anywhere nice on your holidays? I am, and, as the date for departure from Dublin Airport creeps nearer, the excuses I’m making for taking (...)

The Green-Veined White butterfly which is in moderate decline in Ireland. Photograph: Dr Liam Lysaght

What is nature worth to you? This is not a hypothetical question. The cost to society of healing and maintaining the health of Ireland’s natural envir(...)

A million animal and plant species  are threatened with extinction – more than at any other time in human history

In our hyper health-conscious times, it’s hard to imagine anyone advocating a lifestyle that encourages people to smoke too much, drink too much, neve(...)

“It should not be normal to find evidence of plastics on the highest mountaintops and in the deepest oceans.”
Normality in the Anthropocene

I’ve never glued myself to a lorry, and I don’t have any immediate plans to do so. But I can’t help but feel inspired by the bravery of the people who(...)

In Ireland, the best we have are six years of data on a small number bumblebee species, and 10 years’ worth on a small number butterfly species.

At last, we’re on the right side of the spring solstice. To me, longer days mean fewer excuses for standing (or, if I’m honest, sitting) idly by while(...)

‘Basically, we’ve got to stop selling bits of the car and find a handy mechanic to give it a good service.’ Photograph: Matt Kavanagh

I’m in a taxi, and after the obligatory nod to the weather and the state of Dublin’s one-way systems, the driver is telling me what he thinks about my(...)

Murmuration: starlings at dusk.  Photograph: Cyril Byrne

The light at this time of year has a particularly ethereal quality. Dim and hazy, struggling to reach us, it sometimes seems to illuminate only shadow(...)

Leave unnecessary supermarket plastic in the supermarket. Photograph: Alan Betson
New year’s resolutions for nature

While they’re more likely to give up gin and tonic than call themselves environmentalists, my aunts are among the most switched-on people I know when (...)

Since 1970, there has been an average decline of 60 per cent in populations of birds, mammals, fish and amphibians. In people terms, that’s equivalent to the populations of Africa, Europe, China, Oceania and both the Americas Photograph: Tilo Nadler/Conservation International/PA Wire

It has been a depressing month to be a human, and I’m not just talking about the political eutrophication to the east and west of our shores. The Worl(...)

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