Science, Tech & Environment

Scientists Mobilize to Eradicate Island Rats

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For our Geo Quiz – we're searching for an island in the South Atlantic Ocean. It's here: 54 ° 15"² 0"³ S, 36 ° 45"² 0"³ W

The island's snow covered peaks, glacial ice, and blue green bays are spectacular. But it's so remote that no one lives there year round, nobody human anyway.

The island is home to some 30 species of seabirds including giant petrals, penguins, as well as elephant seals.

But it's no paradise.

It's 1,300 miles east of the tip of South America, Tierra del Fuego. So there are fierce winds that sweep in from the Drake Passage and Antarctica.

One more thing the island has: Rats.

Lots of rats.

They arrived in earlier centuries aboard whaling boats and proliferated. Now conservationists and scientists have come up with big plans to do away with these non-native rodents.

The rugged, mountainous island in the South Atlantic Ocean is South Georgia island.

Tony Martin is an expert in animal conservation from the University of Dundee in Scotland. He's headed soon to South Georgia to mobilize one of the largest rat eradication projects ever undertaken.

  • South Georgia and its penguins (Photo Wiki, Sascha Grabow)

  • Wandering Albatross brooding young chick (Photo: South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands)

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