Rat Invaders: Islands Fighting Back Against Killer Rodents
The world's biggest rat-killing campaign underway on South Georgia Island.
Since the furry stowaways landed here aboard sealing and whaling ships in the 19th century, they've been wreaking ecological havoc on the island and its ground-nesting seabirds by preying on the birds and their eggs.
Enter an international team of wildlife biologists, who have recently completed the second phase of history's largest rat-eradication program on the remote island.
Braving appalling weather in the run-up to the Antarctic winter, the group's helicopter pilots logged hundreds of hours in perilous flying conditions to spread nearly 200 tons of rat poison over 224 square miles (580 square kilometers) of South Georgia's coastline.
The ultimate goal: To rid this once supreme seabird habitat of its millions of rats once and for all. South Georgia was probably