The BBC wildlife documentary series Blue Planet II featured footage of British Antarctic Survey (BAS) research on Wandering Albatrosses at Bird Island, South Georgia. New concerns were highlighted on the effects of plastic pollution in the oceans. This spectacular species is already seriously threatened by fisheries by-catch and a new BAS publication reveals populations of wandering, black-browed and grey-headed albatrosses have halved over the last 35 years.
In 2011 when the South Georgia Heritage Trust started their multi-million pound rat eradication project, the South Georgia Association offered a bottle of champagne to the first person to find a South Georgia pipit nest on the Thatcher Peninsula. We’re delighted to announce that it has now been claimed by Jamie Coleman, who found a nest in Burnet Cove, Maiviken, a few kilometres from Grytviken. This area was baited in 2011 at the beginning of the rat eradication project. Jamie estimates that there are now at least four pairs of pipits at Maiviken.
It’s fantastic to be seeing the results of the mammoth effort that went into the rat eradication project. The endemic South Georgia pipit that had disappeared from much of the island is making an amazing comeback: it is being seen and heard in places around the island where it has never been recorded before.
We have submitted a response to The Government of South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands’ consultation on their strategy for the next five years, taking into account all the comments from members that we received. Our response covers many aspects of the Governance of South Georgia, encouraging responsible management of tourism, fisheries and the cultural heritage of the island amongst other topics.
You can download the response here:SGA Comments on GSGSSI Strategy 2016 (465 KB)
The resulting final strategy, as well as the full set of responses, is available HERE on the GSGSSI website.
The Government of South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands (GSGSSI) have announced a consultation on their strategy for the period 2016 to 2020. All parties with an interest in South Georgia are invited to respond and contribute. The draft strategy document and a letter to interested parties are available on the GSGSSI website.
Whilst members of the SGA are very welcome to respond to GSGSSI directly, we will also be submitting a response as an Association on behalf of our members. We would therefore welcome comments on the draft strategy which we will collate and incorporate in our response. Please send your comments and thoughts to secretary(at)southgeorgiaassociation.org by 5th July 2015.
Adrian Fox, Head of Mapping at the British Antarctic Survey, will be giving a talk at the Defense Surveyors Association Annual Seminar on the 27th June. The talk will describe the evolution of mapping of South Georgia, from the earliest mapping efforts, through the expeditions of Duncan Carse in the 1950s into the interior of the island, to modern maps at detailed scales produced from satellite imagery to support the recent rat and reindeer eradication projects.
Further details are on the Defense Surveyors Association website.
The Shackleton Legacy meeting that we recently jointly held with SPRI was well attended and was a great success.
The full programme of talks – on subjects as varied as Shackleton’s leadership skills, sea ice conditions, navigation techniques, and expedition nutrition – remains online on our Shackleton Legacy page, with links to outlines of the speakers talks where they are available.