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South Georgia Rat Eradication (28) More files... by Ingo Arndt
After two centuries of human influence, all negative, the wildlife of the sub-Antarctic island of South Georgia is at a crossroads. The invasive brown rat, introduced during the destructive eras of sealing and whaling at South Georgia, has devastated 90% of the island's breeding population of small birds such as pipits, prions and petrels, including two species found only on South Georgia - the South Georgia pipit and South Georgia pintail. As the main barriers to the rats' journey of destruction are the island's now rapidly receding glaciers, without human intervention it is only a matter of years before the numbers of remaining ground nesting birds are greatly diminished and one species, the pipit, becomes extinct.

But this depressing scenario is not inevitable thanks to a courageous move by the South Georgia Heritage Trust (SGHT). The Trust, a small UK based charity, has stepped up to the challenge of eradicating each and every rodent from the island of South Georgia, by raising private funds and using international expertise to recreate the success of other island eradications. There is a short window of opportunity to restore South Georgias ecology and wildlife to the condition in which Captain Cook found it in 1775. At that time, South Georgia may have been home to more birds than any other island in the world, and SGHT now seeks to restore this sub-Antarctic jewel to its former glory. Experience shows that while the offshore islands of South Georgia remain rat-free, they will act as biological reservoirs from which birds will recolonise the main island - if and when the Trust and its supporters succeed in liberating the mainland from rodents.

As of 2013 two of the three stages of the program have been completed; the third stage will occur in 2015.
Helicopter pilot Peter Garden with his helicopter for South Georgia Heritage Trust Rat Eradication Project, Grytviken, South Georgia Island  -  Ingo Arndt
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00462960 Helicopter pilot Peter Garden with his helicopter for South Georgia Heritage Trust Rat Eradication Project, Grytviken, South Georgia Island© Ingo Arndt
Helicopter bucket being filled with bait for South Georgia Heritage Trust Rat Eradication Project, Grytviken, South Georgia Island  -  Ingo Arndt
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00462958 Helicopter bucket being filled with bait for South Georgia Heritage Trust Rat Eradication Project, Grytviken, South Georgia Island© Ingo Arndt
Helicopter flying with bait bucket for South Georgia Heritage Trust Rat Eradication Project, Grytviken, South Georgia Island  -  Ingo Arndt
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00462957 Helicopter flying with bait bucket for South Georgia Heritage Trust Rat Eradication Project, Grytviken, South Georgia Island© Ingo Arndt
Project coordinator Tony Martin for South Georgia Heritage Trust Rat Eradication Project, South Georgia Island  -  Ingo Arndt
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00462956 Project coordinator Tony Martin for South Georgia Heritage Trust Rat Eradication Project, South Georgia Island© Ingo Arndt
People checking vegetables in bio-security room at King Edward Point for South Georgia Heritage Trust Rat Eradication Project, South Georgia Island  -  Ingo Arndt
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00462950 People checking vegetables in bio-security room at King Edward Point for South Georgia Heritage Trust Rat Eradication Project, South Georgia Island© Ingo Arndt
Brown Rat (Rattus norvegicus) trail at whaling station, Grytviken, South Georgia Island  -  Ingo Arndt
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00462954 Brown Rat (Rattus norvegicus) trail at whaling station, Grytviken, South Georgia Island© Ingo Arndt
Rat bait for South Georgia Heritage Trust Rat Eradication Project, South Georgia Island  -  Ingo Arndt
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00462949 Rat bait for South Georgia Heritage Trust Rat Eradication Project, South Georgia Island© Ingo Arndt
Brown Rat (Rattus norvegicus) coming out of old pipe to feed on bait at whaling station for South Georgia Heritage Trust Rat Eradication Project, Grytviken, South Georgia Island  -  Ingo Arndt
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00462955 Brown Rat (Rattus norvegicus) coming out of old pipe to feed on bait at whaling station for South Georgia Heritage Trust Rat Eradication Project, Grytviken, South Georgia Island© Ingo Arndt
Brown Rat (Rattus norvegicus) carcasses with Ruth Fraser doing DNA tests in lab lab for South Georgia Heritage Trust Rat Eradication Project, King Edward Point, South Georgia Island  -  Ingo Arndt
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00462952 Brown Rat (Rattus norvegicus) carcasses with Ruth Fraser doing DNA tests in lab lab for South Georgia Heritage Trust Rat Eradication Project, King Edward Point, South Georgia Island© Ingo Arndt
Brown Rat (Rattus norvegicus) trapped by Ruth Fraser at whaling station for South Georgia Heritage Trust Rat Eradication Project, Grytviken, South Georgia Island  -  Ingo Arndt
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00462504 Brown Rat (Rattus norvegicus) trapped by Ruth Fraser at whaling station for South Georgia Heritage Trust Rat Eradication Project, Grytviken, South Georgia Island© Ingo Arndt
Brown Rat (Rattus norvegicus) trio found dead after baiting, South Georgia Heritage Trust Rat Eradication Project, Grytviken, South Georgia Island  -  Ingo Arndt
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00462506 Brown Rat (Rattus norvegicus) trio found dead after baiting, South Georgia Heritage Trust Rat Eradication Project, Grytviken, South Georgia Island© Ingo Arndt
Brown Rat (Rattus norvegicus) tail samples for DNA testing for South Georgia Heritage Trust Rat Eradication Project, King Edward Point, South Georgia Island  -  Ingo Arndt
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00462953 Brown Rat (Rattus norvegicus) tail samples for DNA testing for South Georgia Heritage Trust Rat Eradication Project, King Edward Point, South Georgia Island© Ingo Arndt
George Lemann checking locations for hand baiting at whaling station for South Georgia Heritage Trust Rat Eradication Project, South Georgia Island  -  Ingo Arndt
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00462951 George Lemann checking locations for hand baiting at whaling station for South Georgia Heritage Trust Rat Eradication Project, South Georgia Island© Ingo Arndt
Ingo Arndt and team rat for South Georgia Heritage Trust Rat Eradication Project, Grytviken, South Georgia Island  -  Ingo Arndt
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00462965 Ingo Arndt and team rat for South Georgia Heritage Trust Rat Eradication Project, Grytviken, South Georgia Island© Ingo Arndt
South Georgia Pipit (Anthus antarcticus) on beach during low tide, Prion Island, South Georgia Island  -  Ingo Arndt
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00462963 South Georgia Pipit (Anthus antarcticus) on beach during low tide, Prion Island, South Georgia Island© Ingo Arndt
South Georgia Pipit (Anthus antarcticus) sub-adult, Prion Island, South Georgia Island  -  Ingo Arndt
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00462540 South Georgia Pipit (Anthus antarcticus) sub-adult, Prion Island, South Georgia Island© Ingo Arndt
South Georgia Pipit (Anthus antarcticus), Prion Island, South Georgia Island  -  Ingo Arndt
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00462517 South Georgia Pipit (Anthus antarcticus), Prion Island, South Georgia Island© Ingo Arndt
South Georgia Pintail (Anas georgica georgica), Salisbury Plain, South Georgia Island  -  Ingo Arndt
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00456620 South Georgia Pintail (Anas georgica georgica), Salisbury Plain, South Georgia Island© Ingo Arndt
South Georgia Pintail (Anas georgica georgica), South Georgia Island  -  Ingo Arndt
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00462518 South Georgia Pintail (Anas georgica georgica), South Georgia Island© Ingo Arndt
Antarctic Fur Seal (Arctocephalus gazella) pups and shipwreck, Prince Olav Harbour, South Georgia Island  -  Ingo Arndt
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00462502 Antarctic Fur Seal (Arctocephalus gazella) pups and shipwreck, Prince Olav Harbour, South Georgia Island© Ingo Arndt
Antarctic Fur Seal (Arctocephalus gazella) mother and pup at old whaling station building, Prince Olav Harbour, South Georgia Island  -  Ingo Arndt
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00462503 Antarctic Fur Seal (Arctocephalus gazella) mother and pup at old whaling station building, Prince Olav Harbour, South Georgia Island© Ingo Arndt
Old cemetery during high winds, Prince Olav Harbour, South Georgia Island  -  Ingo Arndt
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00462946 Old cemetery during high winds, Prince Olav Harbour, South Georgia Island© Ingo Arndt
Abandoned whaling vessel at night, Grytviken, South Georgia Island  -  Ingo Arndt
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00462947 Abandoned whaling vessel at night, Grytviken, South Georgia Island© Ingo Arndt
Antarctic Fur Seal (Arctocephalus gazella) pup at abandoned whaling station, South Georgia Island  -  Ingo Arndt
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00462948 Antarctic Fur Seal (Arctocephalus gazella) pup at abandoned whaling station, South Georgia Island© Ingo Arndt
Southern Elephant Seal (Mirounga leonina) female displaying, Jason Harbor, South Georgia Island  -  Ingo Arndt
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00462964 Southern Elephant Seal (Mirounga leonina) female displaying, Jason Harbor, South Georgia Island© Ingo Arndt
Helicopter flying with bait bucket for South Georgia Heritage Trust Rat Eradication Project, South Georgia Island  -  Ingo Arndt
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00462959 Helicopter flying with bait bucket for South Georgia Heritage Trust Rat Eradication Project, South Georgia Island© Ingo Arndt
Grytviken and King Edward Point, South Georgia Island  -  Ingo Arndt
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00462961 Grytviken and King Edward Point, South Georgia Island© Ingo Arndt
Nordenskjold Glacier with Allardyce Range, South Georgia Island  -  Ingo Arndt
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00462962 Nordenskjold Glacier with Allardyce Range, South Georgia Island© Ingo Arndt
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