Help restore Gough

Help restore Gough

The Gough Island Restoration is a globally important partnership programme – partner and funder support is vital! Thanks to generous donations from individuals and funders we have raised over £5 million. 

However, there is a funding gap and support is still urgently needed! To equip this major operation for success we are urgently seeking a further £3 million. This money will be used: to purchase equipment; to pay for transporting our teams and equipment to what is an incredibly remote island; and to pay the people who are prepared to tough it out over winter on Gough in order to carry out this important project.

Although we continue to make progress towards our target, the funding gap has increased after the project had to be postponed in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

If you would like to help us raise the final funds to secure the future of Gough Island please donate via the RSPB, or visit our social media pages on Facebook and Twitter.

Alternatively please get in touch to discuss funding and partnership opportunities:


Email: GoughIsland@rspb.org.uk

For our US supporters, contact us on the email address above for details on how to donate in a tax efficient way!

Species under threat

Gough Island is home to four seabird species found only within the Tristan da Cunha island group, and two endemic land birds. Gough has been described as the greatest seabird island in the South Atlantic, and as one of the most important seabird breeding grounds in the world. But many birds which nest here are under threat, including the only two Critically Endangered British birds: the Tristan albatross and Gough bunting. With your support we can restore the fortunes of these unique species.

 

Tristan albatross – Critically Endangered

These magnificent seabirds breed on Gough Island and mate for life. Sadly, there are only around 5,000 mature individuals in the world – and almost all of them breed on Gough (no more than 3 pairs are thought to breed anywhere else).  Due to mouse predation on Gough, only about a third of the island’s breeding pairs manage to raise a chick - which is a very low proportion compared to other large albatrosses.

 

Without intervention the Critically Endangered Tristan albatross may go extinct.

Gough bunting – Critically Endangered

This charming songbird is known only from Gough Island. Historic population declines are likely due to mouse predation and the species is now confined to sub-optimal habitat on Gough where there are fewer mice.

Atlantic petrel – Endangered

This cryptic bird is almost completely reliant on Gough Island to breed, with over 99% of the entire global population found here. Atlantic petrels are particularly hard-hit by mice predation – with as few as 12% of eggs surviving to fledge each year.

With no action, the Atlantic petrel will be lost from Gough Island, forever. This would leave a global population of around 50% which would place the species in critical danger of extinction.

MacGillivray’s prion - Endangered

The MacGillivray’s prion was only discovered on Gough in 2013, having previously been assumed to be a similar species with a broader bill (the broad-billed prion) which breeds in large numbers on the island. The MacGillivray's prion is also found in very small numbers in the Indian Ocean, where they have already been lost from a major breeding island (Amsterdam Island) due to the impact of invasive predators. Therefore, the vast majority of its world population now breeds on Gough.

 

The MacGillivray's prion, although far more abundant on Gough than albatrosses, is also threatened with local extinction due to the impacts of mice. Over the past 70 years the breeding population on Gough has lost more than 1 million pairs. In our monitoring colony, breeding success in recent years has regularly been as low as 0%, with no chicks surviving to fledge. The MacGillivray's prion and similar small, highly threatened petrel species are therefore in critical need of intervention. Without the eradication of mice these species will continue to decline until they are lost from Gough Island forever.

Given that we know that the MacGillivray's prion has already been lost once from a major breeding island due to predation by invasive non-native species, we need to urgently eradicate mice from Gough to prevent a similar loss here.

Mouse predation is directly impacting a number of species, each year pushing them closer to extinction. We need to act now. On completion of the eradication operation these birds can enter the following breeding season on a mouse-free island; the positive impact will be immediate and will continue into the future.

RSPB is partnering with

The RSPB is a member of BirdLife International.

Find out more about the partnership

© The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) is a registered charity: England and Wales no. 207076, Scotland no. SC037654

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