John Gibbons: Ireland‘s natural world needs to be the centre of a media storm

The widespread shock at the wildfires in Killarney National Park and the Mourne Mountains shows that as individuals we love nature, but how much we value it is another matter with scant media attention and systemic neglect of our environment

A hind Sika deer amid the aftermath of the recent devastating fire in Killarney National Park. Picture: Valerie O'Sullivan

In the world of conservation, activists and scientists have long struggled to engage the public emotionally with efforts to prevent the destruction of the seemingly remote natural world. This is probably why, for instance, the World Wildlife Fund uses the cuddly panda as its symbol.

Similarly, the plight of dolphins, polar bears and other so-called charismatic megafauna are often highlighted to try to tug on the public’s heart-strings. Who could forget the images of terrified ...