Since the great success of the Habitat Restoration Project, many partners are working hand in hand to ensure rodents never return to South Georgia. Quark Expeditions and their passengers have played a strong part to date in these efforts and we are delighted to announce that it will continue supporting South Georgia’s biosecurity program in the 2019/20 season.
The Government of South Georgia & South Sandwich Islands (GSGSSI), SGHT, FOSGI and the International Association of Antarctica Tour Operators (IAATO) have been working closely together to deliver biosecurity solutions that will work in South Georgia’s beautiful but challenging natural environment. One of these vital biosecurity measures is the rodent detection programme, trialled by GSGSSI since 2017. During the trial, specially trained dogs and their handlers have been checking ships bound for South Georgia for any signs of rats or mice. The trial has proved a resounding success and from mid-October 2019 onwards, there will be a permanent rodent detection dog team based on the Falkland Islands.
Since the 2017/18 season, Quark Expeditions passengers have, through on-board auctions, raised more than $76,000 towards the biosecurity program. This is a phenomenal amount – thank you! The rodent detection dog team is an important first line of defence against rodents returning to South Georgia and we are very grateful that Quark Expeditions has been so supportive of this vital initiative.