Hosted by SGHT in partnership with the University of Dundee
Monday 10 July – Friday 14 July, 2017, Dalhousie Building, University of Dundee
The South Georgia Heritage Trust, in partnership with the University of Dundee, hosted the third in a series of IUCN international conferences focussed on invasive alien species (IAS) on islands, their impact and management. It followed those held in Auckland, New Zealand, in 2001 and 2010. The Dundee conference was therefore the first such meeting for seven years, and the first to be held in the northern hemisphere.
The decision was made to offer to host this conference primarily because of the help and advice that SGHT received from the Island Invasives community whist undertaking the South Georgia rodent eradication (or Habitat Restoration Project) with the help of the US not for profit organisation Friends of South Georgia Island. Prof. Tony Martin attended the 2010 Island Invasives Conference in Auckland, shortly after taking on the role of Project Director of the South Georgia work for SGHT. There he met many of the key players in projects like the Campbell and Macquarie Island eradications, the predecessors of the South Georgia project.
The Island Invasives community was incredibly supportive, with several experienced practitioners like SGHT’s Chief Pilot Peter Garden becoming key members of Team Rat. Without the projects like those undertaken on Campbell, Macquarie and Rat Island in Alaska that went before, it would have been impossible to attempt to clear South Georgia of rodents. The generosity of the New Zealanders, Australians and Americans in sharing their advice and experience of similar projects was vital in tackling the South Georgia work.
The South Georgia Habitat Restoration Project is the largest island eradication ever attempted and was a major step forward in island conservation globally. SGHT and Friends of South Georgia Island have raised over £7 million to date to carry out the work. You can read more about the project at habitat restoration
Professor Mike Richardson chairs the SGHT Steering Committee which oversees the South Georgia Habitat Restoration Project. He talked about the lessons learned on biosecurity from the South Georgia project on the Thursday afternoon of the conference (13 July).
On the first evening of the conference, Monday 10 July at 6.15pm in the Dalhousie Building, University of Dundee, there was be a free public lecture on the South Georgia project given by Prof. Tony Martin. Other special guests spoke, including Lord Gardiner, Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department