Professor Tony Martin. Photo Roland Gockel

Professor Tony Martin, who is leading the South Georgia Habitat Restoration Project has been named the Zoological Society of London “Conservationist of the Year”. He will be presented with this prestigious award later in the year.

The Habitat Restoration Project is being carried out in four Phases and will take at least 10 years from planning to completion. Professor Martin led an international team of experts, affectionately known as “Team Rat”, for the first three phases in 2011, 2013 and 2015. Poisoned bait was spread using helicopters over rat-infested areas of South Georgia, which were divided by glaciers.

Monitoring to date has indicated that the first and second phases of the baiting have been successful, with no rat presence detected and significant recovery of ground-nesting bird populations. The South Georgia Heritage Trust is currently planning the Phase 4 monitoring expedition which will take place at the end of 2017.

Professor Martin, said he was “immensely proud” to be named Conservationist of the Year and said that “It was a privilege to lead such a remarkable team of people, on this breath-taking sub-Antarctic island.”  Read more from press reports here