Fears for puffins as hundreds wash up dead in Spain

Hundreds of puffins have washed up dead or have been found in poor condition on the shores of the Canary Islands, which has raised serious concerns for Scotland’s population of the birds.

The discovery of a “massive” number of dead or dying Atlantic puffins has been reported by ornithologists and bird watchers on the beaches of the Spanish archipelago as well as on the coastlines of mainland regions such as Galicia and Asturias.

It has led to calls by British ornithologists for urgent research to establish what is causing the deaths amid concerns that storms or changes in oceanography linked to climate change could be responsible.

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They washed up in Scotland 2021 -

Why are hundreds of dead puffins washing up on the coast of Scotland?

Over 100 puffins have been found dead on the northeast coast of Scotland, Shetland and Orkney.

Some of the puffins washing up in Orkney are adult birds, which raises concerns that there will be a knock-on effect on breeding numbers next year.

“This is one of the most significant puffin ‘wrecks’ we’ve seen for this time of year since we began studying these fascinating seabirds almost 50 years ago,” says Dr Francis Daunt, seabird ecologist at UKCEH.

“Many of the people who have found the birds say they are emaciated, which suggests there could be a problem within the marine food chain.”

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