The photographs in the slideshow below are one good example of the type of logistical work undertaken.
It was a privilege to be involved in this subject. I have always felt that helicopters usually only “take” from the environment, but this project was one, very direct way to give back.
Continue reading below…
The task was simple, to rid the island of South Georgia of rodents.
The undertaking was slightly less straightforward.
Of course all ideas for killing rats and mice were considered, but the only way to access every rodent on a 100 mile long, mountainous island in the South Atlantic was to fly over every bit of the island dropping rat bait.
2010, and the project is underway. The helicopters were selected, two Bolkow BO105 helicopters that were thinking they would be put out to pasture.. some pasture, tussock grass, rocks, 100mph katabatibc winds, freezing temperatures, 900 miles from civilisation, 9000 miles from home, access by 5 days on a small ship, only, no airstrip or runway, no maintenance facility, no quick response spares supply.
Having the BO105 type rating meant I was one of a few people able to support the helicopters. Having an adventurous nature meant that I actually wanted to go.
We had to be self sufficient in every regard, taking everything I needed (from a pair of scissors, to engine oil) and relying on British Antarctic Survey for the use of their Telehandler to lift the helicopters.
The project was not only wonderful but, in recent years (2015, 2017) has proven successful.
Further research has proven that we have indeed removed every last mouse and rat from South Georgia.
More reading here on the South Georgia Habitat Restoration project website.