Antarctica Adventure - 2002

P RION I SLAND Then they called us back on the ship so that we could move anchor and visit Prion Island about 3 miles away from the Salisbury Plain. This rat-free island off the big South Georgia Island was going to be our one chance to see the wandering albatrosses on their nests—not to mention its tiny cousin, the improbably placed songbird, the South Georgia pipit. Of course, we were met by the now usual welcoming committee of fur seals, month olds and yearlings mostly. The perturbing consequences of the huge explosion in the fur seal population were very evident here. There were fur seals all the way up the heights we climbed to see the albatross. Normally, the fur seals would not ever climb so high in the islands, but now they needed places for their babies to hide and rest in the tussock grasses. Even the elephant seals had hauled their enormous bulks to considerable heights. This leaves less and less space for the albatross and other seabirds tonest.

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