Reclaiming South Gerogia


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This is the story, in word and image, of the SGHT Habitat Restoration Project fieldwork that took place on South Georgia in three phases (in 2011, 2013 and 2015), baiting every inch of rodent-infested land on the island. Much work remains to be done in the coming years to check if every rodent has indeed gone and this book has been created to raise funds for this crucial monitoring phase of the project. Every photo in the book was taken by a member of Team Rat, and the story is a personal account by Project Director Professor Tony Martin of the challenges and triumphs involved in routing the furry invaders.

Extract from cover notes: “In stunning imagery and text, Reclaiming South Georgia tells the inspiring story of how a globally important wildlife haven, badly damaged by human intervention, was set on the road to recovery by humans of a later generation. … In a world of seemingly endless bad news about the environment, this is a rare story of hope and success in the face of huge challenges.”

James Yorkston

James Yorkston

Born in Edinburgh, 1942.

James made his first trip to South Georgia in 1958 on board the Southern Harvester. He worked as a Mess Boy and returned to work on the Harvester in 1959. He then decided to overwinter in 1960 at Leith Harbour where he also worked in the Mess on shore. He returned again from 1961 to 1962 and was promoted to the position of Galley Boy.

James is a member of the Salvesen Ex Whalers Club and lives in Joppa, Edinburgh. He has not returned to the island since his time in the industry.

Click on the links below to hear the audio files:

These pipit chicks are alive thanks to you!


This photo, taken in January 2015, shows the first South Georgia Pipit nest discovered in an area cleared of rodents by the Habitat Restoration Project. The nest was spotted at Schlieper Bay on the South coast of the North-West baiting zone at Weddell Point. This area was treated in May 2013 as part of Phase 2 of the project.

The nest, containing five chicks, was discovered by none other than Sally Poncet, a former member of Team Rat and expert on the wildlife of South Georgia. This thrilling news shows the rapid impact of the Habitat Restoration Project on this potentially endangered species. Read more on our news page.