Heroes of the Week: Stranded Conservation Research Team

Image: CNN

As CNN reported, a team of conservationists who were trying to save endangered seabirds from giant mice on one of the world’s most remote islands were recently rescued by the UK military after becoming stranded due to the coronavirus pandemic.
A group of 12 researchers from the UK arrived on Gough Island, which is located midway between South America and South Africa, at the end of February to begin a restoration project to save endangered seabirds from giant invasive mice, who eat the chicks. As the coronavirus outbreak escalated in March, the UK’s Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) decided to postpone the project and find a way to get the researchers, who were working to save endangered species including the critically endangered Tristan Albatross, back to the UK.
Researchers faced a 12-day sail to the isolated Ascension Island, before boarding a RAF A400 transport aircraft for a military flight back to the UK. Their long journey home is a reminder of the tireless work researchers do to help us better understand and conserve our planet. Coronavirus has wreaked havoc on scientific fieldwork (including work centering on disease transmission).  So to all of our researchers, thank you! Thank you for putting yourselves in harm’s way in the name of science, we appreciate you so much.

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