You’ve probably heard about the spate of wildfires in different parts of the world in recent months. What you may not have heard about is how goats are doing their bit to help prevent wildfires!
Ireland is one part of the world which has been affected by wildfires, with blazes breaking out in Howth Head, a peninsula which is near Dublin. In a bid to take pre-emptive measures against more wildfires spreading, Ireland has sent in a crack team of 25 goats. How are they going to achieve this mission? Graze!
That’s right; by nibbling away at gorse and shrubbery, there is a much lower risk of fire spreading. Using goats to help keep overgrowing vegetation neatly cropped is a much more environmentally friendly solution compared to using machinery. It also has the important benefit of helping out an endangered species: the Old Irish Goat, a breed which was in danger of disappearance due to cross-breeding with imported breeds.
The goats will also be an excellent draw for tourists and sightseers visiting the area. The current herd is comprised of 14 nannies and 11 kids, and there are plans to extend this to a herd of around 100 eventually. The Irish council are working in conjunction with the Old Irish Goat Society on this project, a group intent on saving Ireland’s indigenous goats from disappearing. The herd are overseen by goat herder Melissa Jeuken, who claims she got on very well with the goats from the outset, describing them as a “very good crew to work with.”