A project to help conservation efforts for puffins is being launched.
The seabirds - recognised for their colourful bills and eye markings - have plummeted
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
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.”