Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Puffins in trouble

This is a reply to an off topic comment from Math (thank you) on a news heading on puffins in trouble:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/scotland/highlands_and_islands/6933378.stm

It has been known for a few years that the fish puffins normally catch to feed their chicks and themselves have been in trouble as well. Due to overfishing and possible other factors the normally fat long sand-eels are small and thin and hard to find.

Overfishing would not only seem the problem, as good old global warming is also blamed for the up rise of a non native plant called mallow tree. The nest sites are overgrown with this plant which leaves the chicks and puffins vulnerable to predators and weather elements.
http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/wildlife/article2323405.ece

And apparently those are not the only threats, according to this article (from 2002):
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/england/2406179.stm
Rats have been and most likely still are a threat to puffins.

However there are still many things done for these birds. Have a look at this:
http://www.projectpuffin.org/
You can adopt a puffin and watch the live puffin cam, and there is lots of other info on puffins on as well.

Ow and perhaps we should stop buying sand eels of course!!!!!
More info on these tiny eel like fish can be found here:
http://www.marlab.ac.uk/Delivery/standalone.aspx?contentid=657

Thank you and kind regards,

SW