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Skomer Island welcomes back over 41,000 puffins

23 Apr 2024 2 minute read
Puffins on Skomer image by Nick Clark

Skomer Island has welcomed back over 41,000 Puffins this spring – although numbers are lower than last year’s record total.

The Wildlife Trust of South & West Wales’ (WTSWW) Skomer Island, located off the coast of Pembrokeshire, is an internationally important seabird island.

Every spring, thousands of Puffins return to the island to raise their chicks.

Numbers “slightly down”

A count conducted by Skomer Island’s wardens on Tuesday 26th March found 41,605 Puffins on and around the island.

Puffin on Skomer, image by Nick Clark

Although this number is lower than last year’s record high of 42,513, Skomer wardens estimate the number of Puffins could be higher.

Rob Knott, WTSWW Skomer Island Visitor Officer, explained: “Whilst this is slightly down on last year’s record total, we aren’t concerned about this – we normally aim for 2-3 counts in early spring, but they have to be done on still, sunny days.

“Anyone from this part of Wales knows we haven’t had many of those days in the wet March and April we’ve had and as such we only managed one count this spring.

“The good news from this is that the total is quite probably a lot higher than the final count as more have arrived in the last few weeks!”

Puffin lovin! by susie2778 is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0.

Puffins are classified as Vulnerable on the global IUCN Red List of Threatened Species and have suffered significant declines across Europe due to threats like climate change and pollution.

Rob Knott said: “We’re very pleased that the island remains a stronghold for this vital, charismatic seabird species and we are proud that we can continue to safeguard their longevity on the island for years to come!”

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