South Georgia Island near Antarctica is now teeming with native wildlife, thanks to an effort to remove invasive rats that had been devouring birds.
South Georgia, a remote island off the tip of Antarctica, is teeming with penguins, seals, rare birds and — for about 250 years — millions of rats.
But now, after the world’s largest rodent eradication project, the island is rat-free.
The decade-long project was led by the Scottish charity South Georgia Heritage Trust.
Over 10 years, members of “Team Rat” dropped rat poison from helicopters and used three rodent detection dogs to rid the British island of rats that had been devastating the wildlife.
Dickie Hall is the habitat restoration project director who spent the last six months searching the island for rodents. He spoke with As It Happens guest host Helen Mann about the project.
Here is part of that conversation.
Mr. Hall, you’ve been hard at work at this for a number of years now. How does it feel to have South Georgia island rat-free?
It feels absolutely fantastic. Somewhat unbelievable.
We always hoped for the best, but we have to prepare ourselves for the worst. But in the end, we did the survey and no rodents were found.