Our award-winning SOS Puffin
SOS Puffin is the Scottish Seabird Centre's award-winning project to save the puffins on the islands in the Firth of Forth. One of the UK's largest puffin colonies, numbers on the island of Craigleith had crashed from over 10,000 pairs to less than a thousand, due to a giant plant called tree mallow which grows to 3 metres in height.
Tree mallow is thought to have been introduced to the Bass Rock over 300 years ago by soldiers manning the fortress there because of the medicinal value of its leaves. It has spread rapidly in recent years, helped by mild winters (linked to climate change), taking over the other islands and preventing the puffins from nesting and rearing their pufflings.
Over 280 work parties have made regular trips out to Craigleith and neighbouring Fidra island over the last 10 years to cut down the tree mallow, with the project being run and supported entirely by more than 1,100 volunteers.
Thanks to this tremendous support, excellent progress has been made and monitoring is showing that the natural vegetation is recovering and the puffins are now able to nest without interference from tree mallow. Other nesting birds such as eider ducks and fulmars have also benefited. The project needs to continue for some time as tree mallow continues to regenerate from the large seed bank in the soil.
If you are interested in getting involved please email firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone +44(0) 1620 890202.
You can also show support by adopting your own puffin.
Check out this short video made by documentary filmmaker Maude Rivard-Haustrate. You can also access this, by clicking on the pic below.