News ID: 316464
Published: 0827 GMT September 20, 2021

Grazing goats offer their help to stop wildfires in Ireland

Grazing goats offer their help to stop wildfires in Ireland
CHRISTIAN NAWROTH

Goats love to graze, so how will their chewing habit help stop wildfires in Ireland?

After a summer of wildfires, Ireland has sent a dream team made up of 25 Old Irish goats to help prevent fires starting again – by using their teeth!

Like many places in the summer, Howth Head in Ireland saw wildfires blaze through the land, with firefighters attempting to put out the flames for six weeks, bbc.co.uk wrote.

The critically endangered goats have one job to do: Eat! The goats will graze the area, clearing the shrubbery that can set alight causing the fires to spread.

Goat herder Melissa Jeuken said: "The goats are good at scrub control. They love gorse and will graze on it day in, day out, if they can."

The wildfires in the area are caused when shrubbery, called gorse, catches fire – gorse also happens to be one of the many types of greenery the goats eat.

The goats have traveled to Howden Heath from the hills of County Mayo and have begun their task of clearing the area of gorse.

No fences have been set up and the goats are free to roam the area – don't worry though, they will be tracked by a GPS device to make sure they don't wander too far.

Goat herder Melissa Jeuken will lead the goats to different parts of the area as the goats graze, reducing the amount of gorse that could potentially catch fire.

Melissa believes the project is "a natural way of dealing with the problem".

Melissa said: "They have a large room and capacity so they can eat a lot of forage.

"Hopefully they will be able to eat their own weight in forage every day. For adults that is about 35kg to 40kg for the females and about 50kg for the males."

 

 

 

 

   
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