- A Science and Art 5 week expedition comprising four scientists and two artists visited South Georgia in January 2010.
- The work was funded by: the scientific and artistic participants, The Antarctic Research Trust, The Protect Our Poles Fund (administered by the Calgary Zoo), South Georgia Surveys and by the Government of South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands.
- Surveys were made of albatross and penguin colonies
- Wandering, black-browed and grey-headed albatrosses breeding at South Georgia are declining at rates of between 2% and 4% per annum, due to birds being caught in long-line fisheries operating outside the Antarctic.
- The wandering albatross population was surveyed, as in previous years, as part of a long term monitoring programme. This will provide revised information on population size and recent declines.
- This information will help inform regional fisheries management organisations (RFMOs) when considering future by-catch mitigation techniques.
- In contrast, king penguin populations are expanding. However, the reasons for this expansion are unknown. The main king penguin breeding colonies at South Georgia were therefore surveyed to provide the first ever estimate of the breeding population on the island.
- The two artists recorded the wildlife, landscapes and historical sites of the region using a variety of media, including: watercolour, acrylic, pencil, stone plaster and video.
- A particular emphasis was on recording the albatrosses and petrels of the region, both at sea and around their breeding colonies.
- A series of between 30 and 40 paintings were produced back in the UK based on the field work undertaken on the cruise.
- These paintings along with the field work were exhibited at a London exhibition during the summer 2011. This exhibition was a fund raising event for ‘Save the Albatross campaign’. www.rspb.org.uk/supporting/campaigns/albatross/
- South Georgia Surveys fieldworkers are due to arrive at South Georgia in early January at the start of their summer season which includes surveys of wandering albatrosses on Albatross and Prion Islands in the Bay of Isles. This project is supported by the South Georgia Government, the Antarctic Research Trust and Peregrine Adventures. Non-native invasive species and historic artefacts surveys scheduled for February.
- Island restoration efforts in the Falkland Islands following baiting for rats on 7 tussac islands in August, show promising signs of success. No evidence of rats were seen when the islands were checked in December and although it's still too early to be 100% of success - normally 3 rat-breeding seasons need to have passed before you can be sure - things so far look promising. This project is funded by the United Kingdom Foreign and Commonwealth Office/Overseas Territories, the Antarctic Research Trust, Falklands Conservation and the Falkland Islands Government Environmental Planning Department.