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Reclaiming South Georgia

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  • UserTony Martin, Professor of Animal Conservation, University of Dundee
  • ClockFriday 12 May 2017, 20:00-22:00
  • HouseCottenham Village College.

If you have a question about this talk, please contact Vicki Harley.

Two centuries ago, rats and mice were inadvertently introduced South Georgia by sealers and then whalers. Over time, these unwelcome guests ate their way through most of the island’s wildlife, reducing the bird population by more than 90%. They threatened the extinction of an endemic bird and fundamentally changing the entire ecosystem of this globally important wildlife refuge. Tony Martin led a 6-year project to eradicate these invaders on behalf of the South Georgia Heritage Trust. This talk will explore what was involved in carrying out the world’s largest rodent eradication project on a remote, glacier-encrusted island, the very encouraging results so far, and what lies ahead before South Georgia can finally be declared rodent free. We will conclude with Q&A and a discussion about the ethics of ‘Playing God’ with the lives of innocent creatures we’ve decided that we don’t like. It’s a fascinating subject, with no right or wrong answers.

This talk is part of the Cambridgeshire Bird Club series.

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