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News Story - Deadly Pole to Pole at Bird Island

Date: 27 May 2014

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Steve Backshall filming skuas scavenging on Landing Beach, Bird Island (Photo: Adam Bradley)

Tune in to CBBC today at 5:25pm to see adventurer Steve Backshall on Bird Island as part of the BBC’s Deadly Pole to Pole series. Steve travelled to the British Antarctic Survey (BAS) research station in February 2014, spending a few days filming the local predators.

Deadly Pole to Pole follows Steve’s journey from the Arctic to the Antarctic through North and South America, looking at all things deadly, be it animals or forces of nature. During the series he travelled to BAS research stations on Bird Island and King Edward Point.

Bird Island lies off the north-west tip of South Georgia in the Southern Atlantic Ocean. It is approximately 1000km south east of the Falkland Islands and is accessible only by boat or ship supported helicopter.

BAS encourages young people to think about the environment and environmental careers, so it was a great opportunity to support the filming of the show, enthusing young people about the Antarctic region.

BAS staff helped the crew film some of the native wildlife including fur seals in the water, giant petrels and skuas scavenging, macaroni penguins and wandering albatross.

Adam Bradley, Base Commander at Bird Island, said he was delighted to meet the film crew:

“It’s so difficult to get visitors into Bird Island as we are quite isolated. It’s a small base but there is a tremendous amount of science going on so it is great to share that with the public.

 “Many of the animals on the island have few predators and very little fear of humans, so it is easy to work with them and that’s great for filming too.

“On Bird Island our science includes monitoring the breeding success and population size of different species. Our long term monitoring of wandering albatross numbers helped to identify the huge threat to the population from long-line fishing.”