Parrots of the Sea doing better, still have ways to go
This post originally appeared on the National Wildlife Federation’s blog. Though puffin populations have been increasing in recent years — going from around 100 in 1973 to more than 1000 today — there is still a ways to go before the species reaches a sustainable, stable level. And with the temperatures only set to rise more in the future, puffins will face more and more challenging threats down the road.
From the National Wildlife Federation:
Last week, after 37 years of coming to the Maine coast, I had the distinct privilege of seeing the Atlantic puffin, beautiful sea birds that are appropriately named Parrots of the Sea for their colorful markings.
With a group of 10, we traveled 45 nautical miles off the coast of Maine to Machias Seal Island, a designated bird sanctuary and home to the largest colony of Atlantic puffin that U.S. travelers can easily view off the Maine coast. Cutler, Maine (population 507), the launch point for our trip to Machias Seal Island, is over 230 miles north of Portland.
They are protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, so restrictions regarding contact with the puffins are tight to ensure their population continues to grow. Only 30 people/day are allowed to dock on the island (weather permitting), with trips to the island running between the months of May-August.
Our guests traveled from across the country to witness a bird that is rare in the U.S., and which takes considerable effort to see close up in the wild.
Read more about the endangered puffin where it was originally posted, here.