Agreement on the Conservation of Albatrosses and Petrels

Progress towards ridding a South Atlantic island of its Norwegian Rats, House Mice and Reindeer: activities reported on in 2012

South Georgia (Islas Georgias del Sur)* in the South Atlantic supports introduced populations of three mammals: Reindeer Rangifer tarandus, Norwegian Rat Rattus norvegicus and House Mouse Mus musculus.  Efforts to eradicate all three species commenced in 2011 and will continue at least into 2014.  Removal of these three aliens is expected to improve the island's habitats for several species of seabirds, including ACAP-listed White-chinned Petrels Procellaria aequinoctialis.

Field work conducted during the 2011/12 austral summer season has been largely directed at assessing whether Phase One of the rat eradication programme conducted in 2010 has been successful and looking at aspects of the biology of the mouse population.  A number of reports detailing these activities are now available on-line (click here for a list of relevant reports; those dated 2012 are listed below).

The habitat restoration project's 12 newsletters (latest issue October 2012) can be accessed at http://www.sght.org/newsletters-and-publications.

white-chinned petrel_by_Ben Palan
White-chinned Petrels.  Photograph by Ben Phalan

Selected References:

Black, A. & Lee, J. 2012.  Post-baiting Rat Monitoring on the Thatcher Peninsula. 10 pp.

Black, A. & Rexer-Huber, K. 2012.  Post-baiting Rat Monitoring on the Greene Peninsula.  5 pp.

Black, A., Poncet, S., Wolfaardt, A., Peters, D., Hart, T., Wolfaardt, L.-A., Tasker, M. & Rexer-Huber, K. [2012].  Rodent Eradication on South Georgia - Preparation and Evaluation: a Summary Report of Activities during the 2011/2012 Field Season.  96 pp.

Cuthbert, R.J., Black, A., Rexer-Huber, K., Parker, G. and Sommer, E. 2012. Field trials for the eradication of House Mice from South Georgia.  RSPB Research Report No. 48. 51 pp.

Eira, H.I. & Kilander, C.E. 2012.  Report from reconnaissance January 1st - 31st 2012 regarding eradication of reindeer on South Georgia.  SNO-Report 2012-1.  Trondheim: Norwegian Nature Inspectorate, Directorate for Nature Management.  42 pp.

Rexer-Huber, K. & Parker, G. 2012.  Rat Monitoring on the Greene Peninsula: Pre-winter Wax Tag Checks.  3 pp.

John Cooper, ACAP Information Officer, 13 December 2012

*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.