A Dundee-based charity has succeeded in its epic mission to declare a sub-Antarctic island rodent-free for the first time since humans arrived more than 200 years ago. In 2011, the South Georgia Heritage Trust started the world’s largest project to remove the invasive rats and mice to save South Georgia’s wildlife, including threatened pipits and pintails.
Scientists have developed a way to identify island habitats that face the greatest threat from invasive pests, such as rats and feral cats. Working on experience collected in a brown rat extermination program in South Georgia, a team of research developed a priority list of islands that they hoped would help governments and conservationists to allocate resources.
An abandoned cruise ship allegedly brimming with cannibal rats, which has been drifting in the Atlantic Ocean for around 12 months might end up in the shores of Great Britain. According to experts, the Russian liner Lyubov Orlova that once carried 100 passengers, might drift on the west coast of Cornwall, Scotland, or Ireland.
An ambitious multi-national move to reduce the rat population on the island of South Georgia has yielded results despite no Norwegian government funding underlines an Oslo media recalling the close relations of the Scandinavian country with the extreme south island and sixty years of whaling.
The world's largest rat eradication campaign has now laid toxic bait on a further 580 sq km of South Georgia, reaching its target. These poisonous pellets have now been spread on 70% of the rat-infested island, according to a BBC report from Melissa Hogenboom.
Humboldt penguins are threatened by inexorable man and …rats. Invading rats with bodies up to 20 centimetres long have begun eating eggs and chicks, and some experts fear that unless the rats are eradicated, they could tip the Humboldt penguin toward extinction.
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.
Conservationists say they are pleased with early efforts to kill rats on South Georgia, in what is the biggest rodent eradication campaign in history. No-one really knows how many rats inhabit the island in the South Atlantic, but it could be millions.