Quark Expeditions supports rodent detection dog trial to protect South Georgia’s wildlife

We are delighted to announce that Quark Expeditions has donated $46,385 (over £35,000) towards a rodent detection dog trial that took place in February – April 2018. The total was raised by Quark passengers who took part in on-board auctions in the 2017-18 Antarctic Season.

Rodent detector dogs on board the MV Ocean Adventurer in Stanley March 2018 (Photo by Niki Souness).

This donation has really helped SGHT and FOSGI to support the GSGSSI rodent detection dog programme, which has led to a second extended trial planned for the 2018-19 season.

Background on the February to April 2018 rodent detection dog trial

From February to April 2018, the Government of South Georgia (GSGSSI) trialled the use of rodent detection dogs and their handlers, from the US organization Working Dogs for Conservation (WD4C ), to check ships bound for South Georgia – a vital biosecurity measure to protect the island from future rodent invasion. Only a handful of vessels are allowed alongside the wharf at King Edward Point, South Georgia, so that they can unload supplies and equipment or provide essential governmental services.

Having these specially trained dogs checking ships en route to South Georgia is a major step towards keeping the future safe for South Georgia’s wildlife, by preventing the return of invasive rats and mice. Putting protective measures in place to ensure that rodents never return to South Georgia is key to ensuring the legacy of our Habitat Restoration Project.

A flock of South Georgia pintails, breeding successfully now in the absence of rats (Photo by Oli Prince).

We are thrilled that Quark passengers have made this incredible contribution to South Georgia’s biosecurity – thank you so much!

 

Other photo credits: Banner Photo – The South Georgia pipit which was in danger of extinction due to rats (Photo by Oli Prince)