Old Irish Goats protect Dublin hills from wildfires

These Old Irish Goats protect Dublin hills from wildfires

by grazing on gorse – a highly flammable plant

Location: Howth, Ireland

(SOUNDBITE) (English) GOAT HERDER, MELISSA JEUKEN, SAYING:

"Howth was targeted by a lot of fire. So there's a lot of gorse here and it's prone, it's very flammable. The goats on the other hand love gorse, so it's a win-win in that sense. I suppose the project also focuses on the old Irish goat defining their role as a functional biodiversity crew. They're a hard-working crew, they're up for the job, they're keen to do it. It also instils key conservation grazing principles to tackle fire prevention, habitat management, and the control of invasive species so it's the old Irish ladies that have a job to do here and are well able to do it."

The ancient goats arrived in Ireland about 5,000 years ago

but their breed have dwindled to near extinction

A herd of 25 goats has now been deployed to Howth

Conservationists hope the deployment will contribute to their survival

(SOUNDBITE) (English) GOAT HERDER, MELISSA JEUKEN, SAYING:"Working with goats is something I've done for a long time, I've kind of grown up with it. Back with my own herd, back in the burn in County Clare and then when I saw the job advertised I just went for the opportunity, and I'm now here with the goats in Howth."

"For me, goats, goats seem to click with me, I seem to click with them."

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