Succes! Exit rats…

Ok, one last post about these magnificent animals. In my previous post, I wrote about the threats threatening albatrosses. One of them was the introduced rats on the breeding islands. South Georgia is one of the essential breeding islands for Wandering Albatrosses. However, they could only breed on some rat-free isles in front of the coast. The South, Georgia Heritage Trust, came up with a plan to eradicate all rats from the island. Using helicopters, they spread special bait that would kill the rats only when they were in their burrows (and the poison would not be eaten by scavengers like Giant Petrels or Skua’s).

20160104_Arjen_Drost_18046.jpg
Young Wandering Albatross

After a couple of year of hard work, they are now in the final phase: checking whether all rats are really dead. So far it’s looking good. We already saw several South Georgia Pipits on the mainland, another species that was restricted entirely to small rat-free islands and is quickly recolonising the mainland when the rats are gone.

The South Georgia Heritage Trust has done a great job in taking out these unwanted guests and making sure a lot more land will be available for many different seabirds to breed.

Arjen Drost

Arjen is a Polar ecologist, nature photographer and full time expedition guide on expedition cruise ships in both Polar regions. With his pictures and stories he likes to show the beauty of these very fragile and threatened places.

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