Newswise — The Atlantic Puffins are among four United Kingdom bird species now at risk of extinction. Stephen Kress is a Visiting Fellow at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and develops techniques for re-establishing various seabird colonies in Maine through Project Puffin. Kress says the decline of the Atlantic Puffin in the UK signals bigger trouble for the entire species, and is a sensitive indicator to the health of oceans.
Kress says: “While the Atlantic Puffin still numbers in the millions, it has greatly declined in its European range in the last decade, especially in the United Kingdom, Norway, Faroe Islands and Southern Iceland, where the world's largest colonies have had meager nesting success in the last decade.
“This signals big trouble for the species as a whole if this trend continues. Warming waters throughout the region and commercial fisheries in some countries have depleted small fish near nesting islands that puffins require for feeding their young.
“This news is a reminder that puffins are a sensitive indicator of the health of oceans and their well-being is a call to action for ocean conservation.”