UK puffin population could plunge by 90% in 30 years
The Independent|November 07, 2021
The impacts of the climate crisis are having a dire impact on some of Britain’s best-loved bird species such as the puffin, which faces being almost entirely wiped out in less than 30 years, a major new report has warned.
HARRY COCKBURN

The British Trust for Ornithology (BTO)’s Climate Change and the UK’s Birds study found that one in five UK bird species will be affected by the impacts of the global climate emergency, with some of the species at risk also including kittiwakes, cuckoos and spotted flycatchers.

The UK’s puffin population – comprising 10 per cent of all puffins in the world, could plunge by as much as 90 per cent by 2050 because of changes to the marine environment caused by rising temperatures that are impacting their food supplies.

Around the world, bird populations have declined most sharply where warming has been most rapid, and the report’s authors are calling for greater awareness of how some climate mitigation efforts, if not applied carefully, could have further disastrous impacts on vulnerable birds.

“This is the first time we’ve pulled together such a comprehensive assessment of the species in the UK being affected by climate change, and their future vulnerabilities,” Professor James Pearce-Higgins, director of science at BTO and author of the report, told The Independent. “We’re particularly aware of the discussions in Glasgow, and are flagging up that some of the decisions made there in terms of how we deal with climate change can also impact on species as well.”

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