South Georgia Pipit, Prion Island

Habitat Restoration on South Georgia

Zegrahm Contributor|May 13, 2016|Video

Habitat Restoration on South Georgia

The South Georgia Heritage Trust has done some incredible work for the island, including eradicating ALL rats from South Georgia. Doing so brought back the population of the South Georgia pipit, once very near extinction. Watch as ornithologist Jim Wilson tells you more about the project - and listen to a pipit sing!

Please note, the footage in this video was taken on both Prion Island and Elsehul Bay; Prion was one of the few rat-free islands of South Georgia, while Elsehul, where Jim was recorded, has undergone rat eradication.

For more information on our efforts with the South Georgia Heritage Trust, visit our previous blog post

 

[FULL TRANSCRIPT]

We’ve been here for a couple of hours, we brought the folks ashore on the Zodiacs, and brought them up along the tussocks, right up here, to where, just behind me, we’ve got giant petrels going by here at the moment. We’ve got the skuas, we’ve had the very rare South Georgia pipit singing—and, there’s one singing just at the moment! A couple of years ago, you wouldn’t have heard them here; this island was full of rats and these are all ground-nesting birds, here, there are no trees on South Georgia, everything has to nest on the ground. So if you’re a rat, lots of food with eggs and chicks. And these pipits? It was down, I think they reckon, to about 1,500 pairs at one stage and dropping. But thanks to the South Georgia Heritage Trust, they have actually eradicated all the rats on South Georgia. And because of the eradication, they’ve now come back. And we’ve had them singing all the way up from the landing area.

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