New web site covers South Atlantic ACAP species
South Georgia Surveys is an independent environmental research organization working to protect native wildlife and habitats in the South Atlantic. Environmental studies, including monitoring of seabird populations, are carried out at South Georgia/Isla Georgia del Sur and on the Falkland Islands/Islas Malvinas. To date surveys and monitoring have been undertaken on Wandering Albatrosses Diomedea exulans, Black-browed Thalassarche melanophrys and Grey-headed T. chrysostoma Albatrosses, Light-mantled Sooty Albatrosses Phoebetria palpebrata, Northern Macronectes halli and Southern M. giganteus Giant Petrels and White-chinned Petrels Procellaria aequinoctialis – all species listed within ACAP.
Long-term studies have been concentrated on Albatross and Prion Islands, Bay of Isles, South Georgia/Isla Georgia del Sur, and have shown that Wandering Albatrosses have been declining in numbers since monitoring commenced at these localities in 1999, broadly matching declines being recorded by British Antarctic Survey personnel on Bird Island in the same island group (see earlier news item “Wanderers still doing badly”).
Prion Island is open to visits by tourists (see “A Visitor’s Guide to South Georgia” by Sally Poncet and Kim Crosbie, published in 2005 by Wildlife Guides, (http://www.wildguides.co.uk/titleslist_worldwildlife). Prion Island now supports only about 30 pairs of Wanderers annually (60 in 1984, 43 in 2004*).
The new web site may be found at www.southgeorgiasurveys.org.
*Poncet, S., Robertson, G., Phillips, R.A., Lawton, K., Phalan, B, Trathan, P.N. & Croxall, J.P. 2006. Status and distribution of Wandering, Black-browed and Grey-headed Albatrosses breeding at South Georgia. Polar Biology 29: 772-781. A PDF is available at http://www.southgeorgiasurveys.org/?Publications.
Go to www.sgisland.org/pages/main/links.htm for a list of links that includes several web sites that cover South Georgia/Isla Georgia del Sur.
News from John Cooper, ACAP Honorary Information Officer