Remote island free of bird-killing invasive rats

The UK overseas territory of South George is free of invasive rodents. Picture: SWNS
The UK overseas territory of South George is free of invasive rodents. Picture: SWNS
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Remote island free of bird-killing invasive rats

The UK overseas territory of South Georgia is free of invasive rodents – which have been arriving as stowaways since Captain Cook discovered the southern Atlantic Ocean island in 1775 – for the first time in more than 200 years.

Birds nesting on the ground or in burrows, whose eggs and chicks were preyed on, are already benefiting from the world’s largest island rodent eradication scheme, according to the South Georgia Heritage Trust.

The song of the South Georgia pipit is back and drowning out the grunts of elephant seals, and flocks of South Georgia pintail are being reported, good news for two species found nowhere else on Earth.

The announcement by the Scottish-based charity that the island is rat-free comes at the end of a habitat restoration project the team began planning in 2008.