Non-Native Plant Management Strategy for South Georgia Launched

(21/3/16)

The Government of South Georgia & the South Sandwich Islands (GSGSSI) today launches its non-native plant management strategy for South Georgia.

Management of non-native species is a high priority for South Georgia and in recent years tremendous progress has been made in restoring natural habitats by eradicating rodents and reindeer. In 2014 GSGSSI was successful in applying for funding from the UK Government funded Darwin Plus initiative in order to progress a strategy to manage invasive plants. The strategy that is launched today is the culmination of that process.

Following comprehensive surveys of the distribution and extent of non-native species a strategy has been devised that should see 33 out of the 41 non-native plant species on the island managed to zero population density, or eradicated, by 2020. Delivery of this strategy, continuing to implement rigorous biosecurity measures and building capacity to react rapidly if new species are detected, will have profound benefits for South Georgia ecosystems

GSGSSI has committed a minimum of £200,000 over the next five years to cover staff costs and logistic support towards the delivery of this strategy.

Colin Clubbe, Head of Conservation Science, Royal Botanic Gardens Kew said “One of the most effective tools to defeat invasive plant species is good biosecurity and a clearly articulated, well-implemented strategy. The Government of South Georgia & the South Sandwich Islands is to be congratulated on developing such a document and demonstrating the commitment to implement it. Not only is this an important step to conserve the unique ecosystems of South Georgia, the publication of this Strategy provides an exemplar to encourage other UKOTs and oceanic islands to develop their own responses to plant invasions.”

Jennifer Lee, Environment Officer for GSGSSI said: “Through delivery of this strategy GSGSSI will ensure that South Georgia’s unique vegetated landscapes and biodiversity will be conserved.”

Download: South Georgia Non-Native Plant Management Strategy 2016 – 2020 [pdf, 7.0mb]