It appears attempts to rid islands in the Southern Ocean of introduced mammals are proceeding apace. The feral cats of Marion, Campbell and Macquarie all went some years ago and more recently Campbell's rats were eradicated. Attempts are underway this year to get rid of the alien rodents and rabbits on Macquarie and of rats on South Georgia (Islas Georgias del Sur)*.
The latest development is an announcement that confirms the intention to rid South Georgia (Islas Georgias del Sur)* of its introduced Reindeer Rangifer tarandus. This decision follows a stakeholder consultation held last year when 95% of respondents were in favour of their eradication (click here).
The next step is to appoint advisory groups to ascertain quite how to remove the Reindeer, introduced in 1909 by Norwegian sealers. Removal of these large herbivores should lead to an improvement in the overgrazed natural vegetation, which can only be good for the indigenous wildlife, including ACAP-listed albatrosses and petrels.
Click here to read a scientific paper on the island's Reindeer.
John Cooper, ACAP Information Officer, 19 March 2011
*A dispute exists between the Governments of Argentina and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland concerning sovereignty over the Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas), South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands (Islas Georgias del Sur y Islas Sandwich del Sur) and the surrounding maritime areas.