Together we have accomplished the largest rat eradication project anywhere in the world. The island of South Georgia was declared rodent free in 2018 and its birds have been unshackled from two centuries of rodent predation. But our work is not yet complete – we are moving forward with a series of exciting projects.
Biosecurity – Keeping Rats and Mice out of South Georgia: The next step after Habitat Restoration is the installation of biosecurity measures to ensure that vessels entering the maritime zone do not re-infest the island with rodents. We are once again working with rodent detection dogs to search incoming ships and cargo; we are also supporting the building of a special biosecurity facility for unpacking and checking shipboard containers in South Georgia.
The Future of Science and Data Information: What do we really know about South Georgia Creation of an app – avisual interface called LIVE:SGI – to offer an interactive real-time map of the island as a key tool for visualising data. Scientific and environmental data will be accessible to both scientists and visitors like yourself in order to make the best decisions possible to study, assess, protect and conserve SG. (The Centre for Remote Environments (CRE) at the University of Dundee, Scotland will undertake this.) CRE was a major player in the creation of SGHT and heavily involved in the eight-year-long Habitat Restoration project, so we are thrilled to have them as partners once again.
Albatrosses: Supporting a project to identify the marine areas and fishing fleets contributing most to the ongoing bycatch- related decline in South Georgia wandering, grey-headed and black-browed albatrosses so that these fleets can be targeted for joint work on solutions; also developing new approaches to highlight the plight of South Georgia albatrosses.
Southern Right Whales: Funding a field campaign focusing on southern right whales which feed off South Georgia, to establish patterns of habitat use and diversity, in addition to whale identity procedures, for assessing their conservation status and recovery.
Whale Sightings – To view a plot of cetacean sightings at South Georgia from 1991 to the present day, click here. The sightings are based on historical records at South Georgia Museum and Bird Island, as well as recent reports by visitors who record sightings in the museum’s whale log.
The plot was prepared by Jessica Richardson of Duke University in collaboration with Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. Details of a paper published on the whale research from South Georgia Museum and Bird Island records can be found in the last article here.
Sealing Archaeology: A project to investigate and document the history and heritage of 19th century sealing and the early impact on South Georgia’s ecology by these sealers, the island’s first human inhabitants. (February & March 2019)
Cultural Heritage and Museum at Grytviken: We have plans to restore the historic Main Store and other historic facilities at Grytviken. Plans for the museum includes funding a professional curator and continue our museum internship program by providing valuable work experience to curatorial graduates