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White Tailed Sea Eagles released into Killarney National Park

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By Sean Moriarty

Four White-tailed Eagle chicks have been released into the wild in Killarney National Park.

RELEASE: An Taoiseach Micheál Martin witnessed the release of the White-tailed Eagle chicks on Friday at the release site in Tarbert Estuary with Danny O'Keeffe (Conservation Ranger National Parks and Wildlife Services) Clare Heardman (Conservation Ranger NPWS) Liam Lenihan (Conservation Ranger NPWS) Eamonn Meskell (Regional Manager Southern Division NPWS) and Philip Buckley Jr (Conservation Ranger NPWS.) Photo: Valerie O'Sullivan

The National Park is one of three locations in Munster as well as Lough Derg and the lower Shannon Estuary where a total of 16 of the once extinct in Ireland birds have been released in recent days.

On Friday last, An Taoiseach, Micheál Martin was in Tarbert where a number of eagles were released into the wild as part of a project to re-establish a population of this iconic species in Ireland.

This was followed by a further release today (Tuesday) in Killarney National Park by the Minister of State for Heritage, Malcolm Noonan, TD, accompanied by the Norwegian Ambassador, Mari Skåre.

Also in attendance were a group of visiting Norwegians who were responsible for the collection of the eagle nestlings in Norway earlier this year.

These white-tailed Eagle chicks arrived in Kerry Airport last month as part of a long-term wildlife reintroduction project.

The four eagle chicks brought to Killarney National Park have been held in special aviaries in a remote part of the Park where they have been carefully looked after by National Parks and Wildlife Service staff.

“It has been wonderful to watch the release of the magnificent White Tail Eagles collected in Norway. The friendship between the people of Norway and the people of Ireland runs deep. The eagles we see fly free and strong in their natural habitat here today are spreading their wings as a result of the voluntary work of so many,” said Ambassador Skåre.

“Biodiversity is essential for all life on Earth. Yet we are seeing an extremely rapid loss of species world-wide. Through joint efforts we can halt this decline.”

As in previous years, the young eagles were collected under licence in Norway by the Norwegian Institute for Nature Research (NINA) and co-workers. All the birds were fitted with satellite tags in Ireland to enable their progress to be followed and their integration into the existing Irish breeding population monitored.

One of the first pairs of White-tailed Eagles to breed in Ireland was in Killarney National Park in 2013 and the pair have remained in the Park since, once again fledging a chick this year. Their nest is in a tree on an inaccessible cliff, but visitors may be lucky and catch a glimpse of the eagles soaring over the mountains or catching fish in one of the Park’s many lakes.

As they mature, these chicks will join and strengthen the small Irish breeding population that has become established since the reintroduction programme began in 2007. So far, 47 young eagles from Norway have been released over the last two years.

FLYING HIGH: One of the White-tailed Eagle chicks released into the wild in Killarney National Park on Tuesday.

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How to boost your immune system with nutrition

By Tara Tangney from Activate Fitness The immune system is precisely that — a system. To function well, it requires stability. While there is no magic bullet for increasing immunity, […]

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By Tara Tangney from Activate Fitness

The immune system is precisely that — a system. To function well, it requires stability.

While there is no magic bullet for increasing immunity, there are ways to keep your immune system strong so that you are better prepared to fight off infections and heal quickly.

As long as your immune system is running smoothly, you don’t notice that it’s there, but if it stops working properly – because it’s weak or can’t fight particularly aggressive germs – you get ill.

Without an immune system, we would have no way to fight harmful things that enter our body from the outside or harmful changes that occur inside our body. Here are five ways to ensure you support a good immune system coming into the wintery months:

1. Eat More Vegetables

While all vegetables have health benefits, some pack a more powerful immune-boosting punch than others. Broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, brussels sprouts, kale, and other cruciferous vegetables are rich in fibre, phytochemicals, vitamins, and minerals. Vegetables such as sweet potatoes, carrots, spinach and tomatoes are rich in beta-carotene (vitamin A), which helps regulate the immune system and protect against infections.

2. Eat Balanced Meals

Include all macronutrients in your meals. Protein is particularly important for healing and recovery. Protein sources include leaner sources of meat, chicken, turkey, fish, eggs, milk, beans, soy, nuts and seeds. These foods are also good sources of zinc, a mineral that promotes healthy immune function and aids in wound healing. Healthy fats are also essential to support our immune health. Try to include a variety of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats in your daily diet. These are found in avocados, fatty fish, olive oil, nuts, and seeds. These foods provide good fats but are also rich in phytonutrients and fat-soluble vitamins. For example, a small handful of nuts such as almonds is a great source of vitamin E. Wild-caught salmon is one of the only foods naturally rich in vitamin D. Fatty fish are also rich in essential fats called omega-3s, which are known for their multiple health benefits.

3. Regular Exercise

Exercise is one of the main aspects that support a healthy lifestyle. Regular exercise promotes cardiovascular health, lowers blood pressure, helps control body weight, and offers protection against a variety of diseases. And just like a healthy diet, exercise can contribute to a healthy immune system, improves blood circulation allowing immune system cells to move through the body more freely and do their job more effectively.

4. Good Quality Sleep

Getting enough sleep has many health benefits. The lack of sleep puts your body into ‘fight or flight’ mode, releasing adrenaline and increased stress hormones into the body. Research shows that in general, adults need at least seven hours of sleep for optimal health and well-being. As we sleep our immune system works to heal and repair the body. A few tips for getting a good night’s sleep include avoiding caffeine in the evenings, turning off your screens (TV, laptop, phones, etc.) well before bedtime and sleeping in a cool, dark room.

5. Manage Your Stress

You may not often think about how stress affects your ability to fight off infection, but your state of mind can have a significant impact on your health. When you are experiencing more stress, your immunity is compromised, which puts you at a higher risk of getting sick. Managing stress may help you fight germs and infections. Stress management techniques include breath work, meditation, yoga, moderate exercise, walking etc. Having a support system of close friends and family can also help us feel connected and stay strong throughout stressful times.

Although there is no magical potion for immunity, you can take these five steps to boost your immune system which is very important as we enter the colder and darker mornings of winter. Don’t underestimate your lifestyle’s impact on your ability to help keep your immune system strong. Good nutrition, quality sleep, and managing stress can all have a significant impact on your health. If you need help with your nutrition, send us an email at nutrition@activate.ie and we will be happy to help you!

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Ireland’s newest and toughest cycle will be a thrilling challenge

Ireland’s newest cycling event comes to Kenmare this month with an exciting and challenging course for the experienced cyclist. Already attracting attention within cycling communities around the country, Velo Kenmare […]

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Ireland’s newest cycling event comes to Kenmare this month with an exciting and challenging course for the experienced cyclist.

Already attracting attention within cycling communities around the country, Velo Kenmare will tackle some of Kerry’s toughest climbs and highest mountain passes.

Taking place on October 22, Velo Kenmare is an 135km timed loop route starting and finishing in Kenmare. The total climbing distance is 1,650m, and organisers hope to appeal to serious cyclists who are looking for a new and thrilling challenge.

No stranger to cycling events, Velo Kenmare is being managed by Elite Events Management, who also successfully deliver iconic cycling events Wicklow 200, Ride Dingle and the Ring of Beara Cycle.
Cyclists are encouraged to register for Velo Kenmare on the Velo Cycle Ireland website www.velocycleireland.ie but places are limited for the enjoyment and safety of all participants, and anyone interested is urged to sign up soon as places are filling up.

TOUGH CLIMBS

​​​​The tough enough mountain climbs are over Molls Gap, Ballaghbeama Pass, Ballaghasheen and Coomakista. The route will take in breathtaking scenery Kenmare is famous for, and incorporating some of the most stunning parts of the Wild Atlantic Way and Ring of Kerry. It is hoped visitors to the cycle event will be encouraged to stay for a few days, and will all be given €20 vouchers or ‘Velo Dollars’ to spend in local shops which will be redeemable against goods and services in Kenmare.

Riders will be allotted a time slot to allow for a staggered start, taking them along a fully marshalled route, with medical cover, bike mechanic support, and hot food and entertainment at the finish in Kenmare.

Making its mark, Velo Kenmare participant race packs will come inside a yellow Velo Kenmare water bottle and finishers’ medals are in the shape of a yellow cow bell. Prizes will be awarded for the quickest top three male and top three female finishers, and fastest male and female will be awarded the title of King and Queen of the Kerry Mountains.

Experienced cyclists are encouraged to take on this exciting new challenge, testing themselves and their clubmates for the fastest finish across these four gruelling climbs, through some of the most beautiful landscape in the country for the best welcome back at the finish.

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