Oban ‘Puf­farazzi’ wanted to help con­ser­va­tion bid

The Oban Times - - News -

CALL­ING all ‘Puf­fer­azzis’ – the RSPB is ask­ing vis­i­tors to puf­fin colonies to pho­to­graph the vul­ner­a­ble birds in or­der to find out what they feed their young.

Puf­farazzi is part of Pro­ject Puf­fin, which launched ear­lier this year with sup­port from the Her­itage Lot­tery Fund Scot­land.

The pro­ject aims to find out more about what puffins feed their chicks, where they go to find food and how their num­bers are chang­ing by com­bin­ing the lat­est tech­nol­ogy with ci­ti­zen science.

Puf­fin num­bers have plum­meted in re­cent years, across the UK and Europe, lead­ing to the species be­ing de­clared vul­ner­a­ble to global ex­tinc­tion.

Dr El­lie Owen, who is lead­ing Pro­ject Puf­fin, said: ‘Puffins are fac­ing huge de­clines over the next 50 years.

‘It’s es­ti­mated their num­bers will go down by be­tween 50 to 70 per cent by 2065 – so it’s re­ally im­por­tant that we act now to help them.

‘Any­one can take part in Puf­farazzi. There are some easy steps to fol­low to en­sure that the in­for­ma­tion be­ing gath­ered by the im­ages sub­mit­ted is sci­en­tif­i­cally ro­bust, and that puffins, and other wildlife, aren’t dis­turbed while the photos are taken.’

For spe­cific guide­lines and to find out more about the pro­ject, visit www.rspb.org.uk/pro­ject­puf­fin.

Puf­fin num­bers have suf­fered se­ri­ous de­cline.

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