Norway Brown Rat Control on South Georgia Island
(Photo: Roger Scotford)

South Georgia Island is a remote and inhospitable island in the southern Atlantic Ocean, located less than 700 miles north of the Antarctic mainland. Large, at nearly 1,500 square miles, the island is mountainous and heavily glaciated. The island’s unique position between the cold Antarctic waters to the south and the warmer waters to the north together contribute to the South Georgia’s exceptional natural beauty, creating a unique environment that supports an abundance of marine and terrestrial wildlife.

This same abundance attracted humans to South Georgia, which became a center for the unsustainable sealing and whaling industries. While sealing and whaling practices have now ceased, South Georgia continues to suffer from the long-term impact of human inhabitation – the ongoing devastation of South Georgia's bird population by the introduced Norway brown rat.

Norway rat (Rattus norvegicus)

South Georgia’s rodents are found in distinct areas, each separated from the other by a glacier. Once an area has been cleared of rodents these glacial barriers will ensure the area remains a safe haven for breeding seabirds--while other areas are being cleared. The island has been divided into 17 areas for this purpose. The Farallon Island Foundation helped these efforts by contributing to the funds necessary to clear the Cheapman Area, a diverse, remote and scenic area at the west end of the island in 2012. Further gifts were awarded in 2013 and again in 2014 toward the goal of removing invasive rats from the seabird habitat on the shores of Iris Bay, on the southeastern end of the island.

  • 2012 Grant: $20,800
  • 2013 Grant: $5,000
  • 2014 Grant: $10,900
  • Grantee: Friends Of South Georgia Island
                   and The South Georgia Heritage Trust