Monday, June 2, 2014

Project Puffin





I remember my first puffin. I was in a zodiac, on my way to visit the whales, and this little orange-beaked tuxedo-ed gentleman was bobbing along on the waves as cool as you please.

The Project Puffin live camera above is observing puffins on the coast of Maine, where Audubon's Stephen Kress, "the puffin man", has been trying to keep the number of puffins from declining. He had been successful until recently, when he noted a large number of puffin babies dying. The parent puffins have been bringing the babies sunfish, which are too large for them to eat, and the babies have been struggling to ingest enough nourishment. Stephen wondered why the parents had switched from their usual herring and hake, till he realized there was a much bigger problem.

The  temperature in the Gulf of Maine, the "food bank" of the western Atlantic, has been warming faster than any marine environment on earth,  wiping out the zooplankton that supplies the entire food web. Other species are affected as well, as, ultimately, humans will be too. 

Meanwhile, baby puffins are dying in large numbers in the Gulf, and the sea just keeps getting hotter.


Robert Bukaty/AP photo

8 comments:

  1. this hurts my heart so bad. today Barack Obama is pushing forth a decision to force diminishing carbon emission exhaust exercising his presidential executive powers act. our congress wasn't acknowledging or moving toward addressing a real problem. a lot of push back from his political opponents, the GOP

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  2. so sad....i remember sitting for nearly an hour and watching them at the aquarium...in baltimore i think...ugh on the heating of the environment as well...and what it is doing to the wildlife...

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  3. Thank you, Sherry, for increasing our awareness.

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  4. This makes me sad! I am from Maine and loved seeing this clown like bird-so cheerful and cute!

    Yes, a huge mess with no return-scary!

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  5. did you see the Cosmos this week, Sherry? Neil deGrasse Tyson just nails climate change. An important- perhaps the most important- scientific challenge of our time... ~

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  6. How sad & depressing ~ Thanks for featuring about their plight Sherry ~

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  7. I've only seen puffins in a zoo. So adorable. One day... in person!

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  8. This creates such a despondency within me, to read such a heart-breaking story of death of little beautiful things. Humankind, we need to reverse this.

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