Are you planning to visit one of the puffin colonies found in the UK or Ireland this summer? Or in spring or summer 2020? Then the charity is asking you a simple favour: try to photograph these colourful seabirds with fish in their bills.
These photos will help scientists learn more about what puffins are feeding their chicks, known as pufflings.
A Species In Decline
Though a favourite for many people, puffin numbers are falling. The species is now classed as “vulnerable to extinction”. The Puffarazzi project aims to find out the causes of this decline, likely to be due to a reduction in available food sources caused by climate change.
Scotland is one of the most important places for puffins, with 80% of the UK and Ireland population breeding here.
In 2017, the public’s response to the projects was incredible. 602 people joined the Puffarazzi and sent in 1,402 photos from almost 40 colonies. The photos have helped scientists identify areas where puffins are struggling to find the large, nutritious fish needed to support their offspring.
This time around, scientists are not just asking for current photos. They also need snaps of puffins with fish in their bills from any year.
Provided the year and place of the image is known, it can be submitted. There’s even a way for pre-digital photos to be included. These will help scientists to track how puffin food sources have changed over time.
Joining The Puffarazzi
Guidance for photographers can be found on the Puffarazzi website. This guidance includes how to avoid disturbing puffins while photographing them, such as keeping movements and noise to a minimum, not walking near or over puffin burrows, and keeping your distance.
For more information, or to submit images, visit the Project Puffin Website.