The third and last main working phase of the Habitat Restoration Project on South Georgia has been completed successfully. The Habitat Restoration Project of the South Georgia Heritage Trust (SGHT) is the immense task to remove rats from the island that have been introduced by sealers and whaler, see also previous news on this website. The aim is to restore South Georgia as a breeding habitat for millions of seabirds, especially smaller species.
Some days ago, the SGHT was able to release an important press stop: the third, final main phase of the project has been completed with success! On Monday, March 23rd 2015, the last load of bait was dropped from one of the helicopters of Team Rat.
It will, however, take several years until final success can be declared: all areas need to be carefully checked to make sure no rats have survived. The survival of only 2 rats, male and female, or even one pregnant female, would sweep off all efforts as rats populations can pick up very quickly, making it impossible to control them on a low level. Currently, areas from earlier working phases are being checked. This work will continue for several years to come. At the time being, Team Rat is still in South Georgia and able to do more baiting should any need arise.
The SGHT and their supporters have done an immense work with great success, achieving what many would have described as the impossible. In the interest of millions of seabirds, we wish the Habitat Restoration Project of the SGHT the very best and we hope that we can celebrate the final success of the project after all checks have been completed within a few years.
The SGHT is happy to receive donations to support their ongoing work for the project.
Seabirds near South Georgia: thanks to the Habitat Restoration Project, populations especially of smaller species can be expected to increase significantly in years to come.