Wild Cities is a four part Irish nature documentary series commissioned by RTE and the BAI which is currently in production. Each episode will focus on the specific wildlife native to each of Ireland’s four largest cities; Dublin, Belfast, Galway and Cork. In order to make this programme as interesting and all-encompassing as possible the show’s makers are looking for help from the Irish people.
Do you know of any interesting wildlife living in your area? In particular, the filmmakers are looking for garden ponds where frogs (or even newts if you’re lucky enough to have them) spawn or, indeed, any urban looking areas that these amphibians travel through on their yearly migration. Successfully documenting this journey would make a fantastic montage sequence for the series.
Of course, there is a lot more to Ireland’s urban wildlife than migratory frogs. Ireland is home to a great many species of birds and with nesting season coming up there could be great potential to get footage of many different varieties of birds rearing their young and comparing their various breeding strategies. Similarly, bats like to roost in old/abandoned buildings as well as people’s attics. The stars of the show could very well be living just above you!
In recent years more and more relatively large mammals such as foxes, badgers and even deer have been finding themselves living in Ireland’s cities. Do you know where and when they like to hang out? If so, your input could be most valuable.
Due to its generally cold climate, the rarest animal family to be found in Ireland must surely be reptiles. It is currently believed that there is only one species of indigenous reptile living here currently, the rarely seen viviparous lizard (Zootoca vivipara). Most people live their full lives unaware that such creatures inhabit the island of Ireland, let alone see one. To that end, film footage of one going about its business would be a rare prize indeed. Other reptiles have been known to make appearances, albeit after being introduced from elsewhere. The occasional turtle shows up in Ireland’s canals and ponds, usually the result of escaped or abandoned pets.
One introduced species of reptile which is thought to have died out is the anguid, also known as the ‘slow-worm’. Often mistaken for snakes, anguids are in fact a strange breed of lizard who have evolved to the point where they no longer possess legs (an example of a process called convergent evolution). While anguids are believed to have gone extinct in Ireland, one should never say never as to spot (and document) one of these alive and well right under our very noses would totally rewrite the book on Irish wildlife!
Have you spotted any urban animal activity that you think these documentary filmmakers might find interesting? If you have then please contact Wild Cities via their Facebook page or on Twitter. Alternatively, you can email any information, photos or videos that you might have to email@example.com
[Image: Jeffrey Beall]