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Hebrides News


A project to help conservation efforts for puffins is being launched.

The seabirds - recognised for their colourful bills and eye markings - have plummeted in numbers.

Main breeding populations are in the Western Isles and the Northern Isles. St Kilda hosts a large colony and the birds also nest in other offshore islands in the Hebrides like the Bishop’s Isles off Barra and the Shiants.  

Warming seas, caused by climate change, affecting puffins’ food sources are thought to be one of their main threats.

RSPB Scotland has received a near £50,000 lottery award for a scheme aimed at aiding their survival.


Survival project to help save the puffin

16 March 2017

Project Puffin (UK) combines the latest technology with citizen science to tackle three of the biggest challenges hampering conservation efforts for these charismatic birds; discovering more about what puffins feed their chicks, where they go to find food and how their numbers are changing.

Counts will take place at a number of puffin colonies to measure the extent of decline and assess how puffins are currently faring.

GPS trackers will be carefully fitted to 31 puffins at two sites in Scotland to record where they go to fish to feed their chick.

Ellie Owen, who leads on the RSPB’s seabird tracking work in the UK, said: “Puffins are wonderful birds that are in desperate need of help to ensure the long term survival of the species here.

“Across the country there is great affection for these birds and this project will give people the chance to get involved with the work being done to save them.”