South Georgia

News

The SGHT team to start Phase 2 of the rat eradication programme will be going into the field on South Georgia in February 2013. News on the progress of this programme with regular updates can be found at http://www.sght.org/newsletters-and-publications#HR_background . Field activity this year involves a team of 25 and support from the BAS research ship Ernest Shackleton and 3 helicopters who will be spreading 200 tonnes of poison bait across about 60% of the island.

Events

On 26 June 2012 the SGHT Patron HRH the Princess Royal hosted a lunch in support of the Habitat Restoration project at Saint James’s Palace, London. See the SGHT Project Newsletter at http://www.sght.org/Habitat-Restoration.

Projects

The SGHT are leading the action to eradicate rats from South Georgia as part of their habitat Restoration project and have received funding and help from a variety of sources including, in 2012 funding from the Island Foundation (US$750,000) and Defra (£250,000) as well as a number of individuals and other organisations. Details and progress can be found at http://www.sght.org/Habitat-Restoration. Some Phase 1 funding came from the OTEP Programme (Project SGS301) and details can be found at http://www.ukotcf.org/infoDB/InfoSourcesDetail2.cfm?refID=307. This follows on from exploratory work carried out under OTEP Project SGS802 and the successful eradication of rats on Grass Island in 2001.

Defra is now funding a Darwin Initiative project (Ref: 18-017 – Developing knowledge to eradicate house mice from UK OT Islands) which aims to test the feasibility of eradicating house mice from Gough Island, undertake research on the Falkland Islands and South Georgia on the impact of mice, and to create the capacity to undertake mice eradication operations on all three UK OTs. More information and projects reports can be found at http://darwin.defra.gov.uk/project/18017/.

The Government of South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands (GSGSSI) website provides more information on progress with other non-native species management work. In particular, the reindeer eradication project represents a significant step forward in restoring native habitats on the Island. In 2013, the first of the two herds of reindeer on the island were eradicated, with the second phase of the operation being planed for 2014.

The GSGSSI is also engaged in management of non-native plant species (download the 2013 annual report here) and has recently applied for funding to further their efforts to eradicate several introduced weeds.



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