South Georgia

by Anonymous (not verified) on

St AndrewsSouth Georgia is famed for its severe weather, strong winds, rain, sleet and snow; 4 seasons in one day is the norm, rather than the exception.  The weather gods were no doubt smiling on us though, as we experienced some incredibly calm weather that enabled us to visit 5 sites over the past 4 days, allowing us to get feather samples from 4 colonies of King penguins, and 3 colonies of Gentoo penguins. Most exciting of all though, was that we placed 2 time lapse cameras overlooking penguin colonies – our first on South Georgia, and the start of our long term monitoring programme for penguins. Craggy, dark mountain peaks frame the skyline, with hanging glaciers calving ice over dark sandy beaches.  The wildlife is on a vast scale.  St Andrew’s Bay, one of our sampling sites, is home to an estimated 200,000 breeding pairs of King penguin.  That is penguins as far as the eye can see, and a smell which cannot be described.King penguins Interspersed among them, young fur seals, sparring with each other, practicing the skills it will take to become a beach master; elephant seals, lying in big piles moulting this seasons skin; patrolling skewers, looking to pick off the weak, looking for an easy meal. The species list so far includes: King penguins, Gentoo penguins, :Macaroni penguins, cape petrels, giant petrels, South Georgia pintail, South Georgia pipit, Wandering Albatross, black browed Albatross, grey headed Albatross, fur seals, Weddell seal, and elephant seals. Fur sealsAs we leave South Georgia, the weather is starting to turn.  Winds have picked up to 45 knots, the waves are crashing around the ship, up to 7m in height, and we spot our first iceberg.

Select a blog

Careers at ZSL

Our people are our greatest asset and we realise our vision for a world where wildlife thrives through their ideas, skills and passion. An inspired, informed and empowered community of people work, study and volunteer together at ZSL.

Nature at the heart of global decision making

At ZSL, a key area of our work is the employment of Nature-based Solutions – an approach which both adapt to and mitigates the impacts of climate change. These Solutions, which include habitat protection and restoration, are low-cost yet high-impact, and provide multiple benefits to people and wildlife. We ensure that biodiversity recovery is at the heart of nature-based solutions. 

ZSL London Zoo

A blog for lovers of ZSL London Zoo, bringing you extraordinary animal facts and exclusive access to the world's oldest scientific zoo.

ZSL Whipsnade Zoo

Do you love wildlife? Discover more about our amazing animals at the UK's biggest zoo!

Conservation

We're working around the world to conserve animals and their habitats, find out more about our latest achievements.

Science

From the field to the lab, catch up with the scientists on the cutting edge of conservation biology at ZSL’s Institute of Zoology.

Education

A day in Discovery and Learning at ZSL is never dull! The team tell us all about the exciting sessions for school children, as well as work further afield.

Artefact of the month

Every month, one of the pieces held in ZSL’s Library and at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo will feature here as Artefact of the Month.

Wild About

Read testimonials from our Members and extracts from ZSL's award winning members' magazine, Wild About.

Chagos Expedition

The Chagos archipelago is a rare haven for marine biodiversity. Hear from the team about our projects to protect the environments in the British Indian Ocean Territory (BIOT).

Asia Conservation Programme

ZSL works across Asia, from the famous national parks of Nepal to marine protected areas in the Philippines. Read the latest updates on our conservation.

Remote Sensing in Ecology and Conservation

An Open Access journal for research at the interface of remote sensing, ecology and conservation.