The puffin species are endangered in Wales. But why?
A leading conservation charity has launched a project to protect one of Wales’s most iconic species is at risk of extinction.
Puffins have seen a decline of 9% driven by climate change and the RSPB are asking aspiring wildlife photographers to take part in a unique citizen science project.
By photographing these sea birds with food in their bills, the charity hopes to build a better understanding of how they are being impacted by changes in the behavior of their main prey species.
“Puffins eat sand eels; which like to live in cold water,” said Donn Davis, an employee of the Royal Society of the Protection of Birds, “Sand eels are moving north to find a more suitable place for them to live. So, the puffins now have to fly further to find their food.”
The comical bird is known its colorful beak, which made it earn its nickname “clown of the sea”; and its special ability to hold a large amount of sand eels at the same time.
Climate change has also been causing huge storms at sea, which are killing puffins that spend their lives there.
“In Skomer island, there were massive storms at sea, so we lost 40% of the male puffin population,” said Mrs Davis.
The RSPB are trying to protect the puffin population by monitoring the feeding grounds and the fishing.
“We talked to fisheries and reached out to the government to help us protect the area where puffins eat from overfishing,” said the RSPB employee.
With the government’s cooperation the RSPB are trying to create fishing, farming, and agricultural policies to protect these birds.