- On 23 March 2015 the final load was dropped in Phase 3 of the Habitat Restoration Project. The entire island of South Georgia, all 100,000 hectares of rodent-infested land, had been treated with the bait which would remove the invasive rats and mice. In a matter of days South Georgia could be rodent-free for the first time in almost two centuries. Its birds would finally be free of the predator that had devastated their nests and chicks, and threatened entire species with extinction.Over time, prions, petrels, pintails and pipits will re-colonise their abandoned nesting sites, increasing the seabird population on the island by an estimated 100 million.
- Discovery of pipit chicks announced as final phase of world’s largest rat eradication project gets underway. Click here for PRESS RELEASE (pdf document - January 2015)
The South Georgia Pipit cannot breed when rats are present.
The discovery of pipit chicks is confirmation that birds are quickly responding to the absence of rats.
(Photo of pipit nest courtesy South Georgia Newsletter, January 2015 )
- Habitat Restoration project on BBC News South Georgia rat eradication mission sets sail, also on BBC Newsround (24th Jan 2015)
- The report 'Sustainability in the UK Overseas Territories' has been published as the Environmental Audit Committee’s Tenth Report of Session 2013–14
- At the 40th Conference of the Association for Industrial Archaeology in Dundee, 10 August 2013, Bjørn L. Basberg was awarded The Peter Neaverson Award for Outstanding Scholarship for his book The Shore Whaling Stations at South Georgia: A Study in Antarctic Industrial Archaeology.
The award recognizes publications which have made the greatest contribution to the scholarship, knowledge and / or understanding of industrial archaeology. For more details on the award: www.industrial-archaeology.org. To purchase the book visit SGHT's online shop here.
Prof. Basberg received his award on the Frigate Unicorn in Dundee.
- Team Rat has completed the second year of Habitat Restoration fieldwork in 2013. This season the international team of eradication experts has tackled all rodent-infested areas to the west of the Greene, Thatcher and Mercer areas cleared in 2011. All indications are that those areas have now been rat-free for two years, and the birds are already benefitting. Pintail ducklings are fledging successfully at Grytviken for the first time in living memory! Over 50,000 hectares of infested land were baited in 2013 despite some of the worst weather in a decade, a tremendous achievement.
- On Friday 19 April 2013, the Darwin Initiative awarded SGHT and its project partners GSGSSI and the RSPB £253,000 to eradicate mice from South Georgia as part of the Habitat Restoration Project. The partners would help to monitor the results of the eradication. The aware was made through a new UK Overseas Territories Environment and Climate Fund, known as Darwin Plus. This award will support the removal of mice from the two areas of South Georgia where they are known to exist. The work will be carried out as part of Phase 2 of the Habitat Restoration project in 2013.
Minister for the Natural Environment and Fisheries Richard Benyon said:'I’ve been captivated by South Georgia, ever since reading of the plight of Sir Ernest Shackleton as a child.With the centenary of this famous expedition just around the corner, we have a once in a lifetime chance to help return this precious habitat to an eeven better state than that in which Shackleton would have first discovered it. I’m delighted that the UK Government has been able to offer its support to this valuable work and hope that others may be encouraged do the same.’