Above picture:  George and Cathy Ledec birding while on a family visit to Australia in the  Bouddi National Park, New South Wales, in June 2023.  Their matching caps are from the Cape Cod National Seashore, near to where they live


Back in February last year George and Cathy Ledec from the USA made a generous contribution to the Mouse-Free Marion (MFM) Project’s Sponsor a Hectare campaign.  Their 200-ha sponsorship followed their participation on the Flock to Marion 2022 voyage that raised over three million Rands towards the project.  George and Cathy have now more than doubled their original sponsorship to total 500 ha, equivalent to a truly impressive half a million Rands!  This puts them back in the lead of the prestigious “Wandering Albatross” 100+ ha category (click here).

Dr George Ledec has devoted his professional career to biodiversity conservation, mainly at the World Bank where he retired as Lead Ecologist in 2020.  He writes to MFM News: “Supporting this project is an opportunity not to be missed!  Successful project implementation will dramatically improve the survival prospects of the Wandering Albatross, Grey-headed Albatross and Sooty Albatross on Marion Island, among other globally threatened seabirds.”

Cathy is a passionate environmental advocate and volunteer in Cape Cod, Massachusetts, where she and George reside.  She says: “The Mouse-Free Marion Project is now an important part of our philanthropic agenda.  We expect the rigorous scientific planning for this project to achieve outstanding results for so many nesting seabirds, once the mice are successfully removed.”

Cathy and George have together issued a challenge: “We hope that our contribution to this campaign will inspire other people worldwide who care about seabirds also to Sponsor a Hectare or more (or increase their existing sponsorships as we have done) to ensure that the promise of a mouse-free Marion Island will become a reality.”  To which the MFM Project Team can only agree!

The MFM Project Team is hugely grateful to Cathy and George Ledec for their continued magnificent support.

John Cooper, News Correspondent, Mouse-Free Marion Project, 08 August 2023


A Sooty Albatross on Marion Island, photograph and poster design by Michelle Risi

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.