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25 Facts About PUFFINS ~ LAST PART!

Sharing the last part  of the series: 25 facts about Puffins, part five of five. 

Below are some facts I learned and wanted to share. 

In case you missed part one though four,  you can read them here: 

25 Facts About PUFFINS ~ Part 1 of 5

25 Facts About PUFFINS ~ Part 2 of 5

25 Facts About PUFFINS ~ Part 3 of 5

24 Facts About PUFFINS ~ Part 4 of 5

These Puffins always make me smile. I hope they do the same for you. We can never have too many smiles.

I hope you enjoyed this series, I sure did. 🙂

*Photos Courtesy of National Geographic

  • Question of

    WHAT EFFECT HAVE HUMANS HAD ON PUFFIN NUMBERS?

    • 1. Humans have had a very negative effect on puffins in the past. Today, there are threats on land and at sea.
    • 2. Over-hunting occurs when too many individuals of a particular species are killed and the remaining population is unable to replace losses.
    • 3. Mammals (such as fox and rats) introduced by humans, can be very destructive because the puffins do not have adaptations to avoid them.
    • 4. Oil spilled by tankers and drilling operations can destroy the waterproofing on puffin’s feathers causing them to die of exposure to cold temperatures.
    • 5. While humans have hurt puffin numbers in the past, we also have the ability to restore and protect colonies. We need to reduce pollution of our coasts and do a much better job managing our fisheries. This benefits seabirds and people.
  • Question of

    ARE PUFFINS ENDANGERED?

    • 1. Puffins are not endangered but they are threatened by human activities and are rare in many areas where they were once abundant.
    • 2. As a result, it is important to protect critical puffin breeding and feeding habitat.
  • Question of

    WHY DID PUFFINS NEARLY DISAPPEAR FROM MAINE?

    • 1. Maine puffins were over-hunted by early settlers for food and feathers.
    • 2. The colonies were harvested for the maximum number of birds and eggs that could be taken without thought to whether the colony could support that level of hunting.
    • 3. By 1900 the puffins were gone from the Gulf of Maine except for 2 isolated colonies.
  • Question of

    WHAT WAS DONE IN MAINE TO HELP BRING PUFFINS BACK?

    • 1. In 1973, Stephen Kress began a program to help re-establish a puffin colony on Eastern Egg Rock off mid-coast Maine.
    • 2. The idea behind “Project Puffin” was to move puffin chicks from a large colony in Newfoundland and raise them on Eastern Egg Rock.
    • 3. This was done so the puffins would think Egg Rock was their home and eventually return there to raise their own chicks.
    • 4. 1973 to 1981 a total of 954 downy chicks were transplanted into artificial burrows on Egg Rock. Numbered bands were used to tag the chicks so they could be identified if they returned.
    • 5. A similar project was completed at Seal Island National Wildlife Refuge where 950 puffin chicks were transplanted between 1984 – 1989. Puffins recolonized Seal Island in 1992.
  • Question of

    HOW DO PUFFINS HELP PEOPLE?

    • 1. Puffins help people by acting as indicators of ocean health, especially over-fishing.
    • 2. Puffins indicate the abundance of fish by the numbers of fish they bring ashore for their chicks.
    • 3. Puffins can also help tourism. Communities benefit from having a healthy puffin colony to share with tourists who contribute to the local economy when paying to see the birds, stay in hotels, and dine in restaurants.
    • 4. More than 40 seabird species in at least 12 countries have benefitted from the seabird restoration techniques developed by Project Puffin.

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Written by Carol DM

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