Above picture:  Geoff and Mary Ball, Tswalu Kalahari Private Wildlife Reserve, South Africa, September 2015, photograph by Mark D. Anderson

Geoff Ball, from Edinburgh, Scotland, describes himself as a “birdwatcher who is interested in the environment”.  This is indeed modest as he is much more than that.  A long-time friend and supporter of BirdLife South Africa who knows its CEO Mark Anderson well, Geoff, a retired businessman, participated in the successful Flock to Marion 2022 voyage earlier this year.  On the voyage he joined the only eight other members to date of the prestigious “Wandering Albatross Club” by sponsoring 100 hectares towards ridding Marion Island of its invasive House Mice that have taken to attacking and killing the albatrosses and petrels that breed ashore.

From left: Geoff Ball, Gilly Banks, Mary Ball and Tony Martin (South Georgia Habitat Restoration Project Director) at the centenary dinner for the BirdLife World Congress, Victoria & Albert Museum, London, September 2022, photograph by Mark D. Anderson

Geoff writes to MFM News “I was actively involved in and supported two RSPB-led rodent eradications on Henderson Island in Pitcairn and on the Shiant Isles, Scotland.  I was also involved in financially supporting the South Georgia Habitat Restoration Project [that successfully removed the island’s Brown Rats and House Mice] and spent five weeks down there aboard the RRS Ernest Shackleton assisting the project, the largest successful eradication [of island rodents] ever undertaken.”

And as Geoff can be seen besporting Scottish trews on special occasions:  tapadh leat gu mòr!*

*Thank you very much

With thanks to Mark Anderson.

John Cooper, News Correspondent, Mouse-Free Marion Project, 08 November 2022



The Mouse-Free Marion Project is a registered non-profit company (No. 2020/922433/08) in South Africa, established to eradicate the invasive albatross-killing mice on Marion Island in the Southern Ocean.  The project was initiated by BirdLife South Africa and the South African Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment.  Upon successful completion, the project will restore the critical breeding habitat of over two million seabirds, many globally threatened, and improve the island’s resilience to a warming climate.  For more information or to support the project please visit mousefreemarion.org.