A fantastic £60,000+ of funding was raised for the SGHT Habitat Restoration Project on South Georgia in the 2010-2011 season thanks to the many visitors who sponsored a hectare.
The money helped to clear rodents from over six hundred hectares of the Island in March 2011. Phase 1 of this five year project is already the largest rodent eradication project attempted in the world.
According to the June edition of the South Georgia Newsletter, every hectare cleared saves seabird chicks from the grisly fate of becoming dinner for the invasive rats and increases the numbers of birds like prions and petrels, for whom South Georgia is the most important breeding site worldwide.
SGHT (South Georgia Heritage Trust) Communications Manager Ruth Fraser took the task of speaking to many of those who visited South Georgia and the SGHT would like to thank Ruth for all of her hard work this season and to congratulate her on helping to raise this thrilling total. They would also like to thank every cruise ship that welcomed the SGHT staff on-board to give a talk about this globally significant project.
Project Director, Professor Tony Martin, said: “It is sobering to think that our challenge has already been this substantial, yet we still have 88% of the island to tackle!”
South Georgia can be divided into distinct baiting zones, separated from each other by glaciers – a natural barrier that stops rats spreading from one zone to the other. As the glaciers continue to recede, so does the risk that some of these areas will become so large that they can not be cleared – adding urgency to the whole project.
A map designed by SGHT displays green areas where it was successfully baited in Phase 1; the remaining zones to be cleared are indicated in red with an estimated cost to clear it indicated for each zone.
The SGHT invite everyone to continue their generous support of the project by sponsoring a hectare and say “Together we can save many more of South Georgia's birds”.