Species Champions: Puffin

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Around 1,200,000 puffins breed in the UK every year. They arrive at our cliffs and islands to breed and do so in burrows hidden away in the slopes. Breeding takes around 10 weeks, and during that time parents take turns incubating the chick and collecting prey to feed it. They rely on small, protein rich fish, and the sandeel is common in most diets. After 10 weeks, the puffin is deserted in the burrow and left to find its own way out to sea. It will stay there for the next four years until it too is ready to return and breed on the coastline.

Used as a symbol for books and other items, this clown among seabirds is one of the world’s favourite birds. Puffins have been uplisted to red in the 2015 review of Birds of Conservation Concern.

Action Needed

  1. Support Marine Protected Areas for key offshore feeding areas
  2. Support fisheries management measures that conserve the sandeel

Threats

Falling fish stocks, in particular declining sandeel populations

Habitat loss

Puffin survival depends on a healthy marine environment

MSP Species Champion

Claire Baker

Member for: Mid Scotland and Fife

Party: Scottish Labour Party

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