October 19 | 2018
Puffin Patrol: The children saving Iceland’s Pufflings
Puffin. The beautiful and iconic bird of Iceland is endangered and key populations in Iceland are disappearing. To make matters worse, on one Island off the southern coast of Iceland, fledging birds – also known as Pufflings – who have just left the nests are flying into the local town where they are at risk of getting hurt.
The children in the local town, part of the Puffin Patrol, are pitching in to help rescue the pufflings. Distracted by the town lights, the pufflings who are leaving the nests, land in the town where they can be hit by cars, or preyed on by cats and other predators.
The children go out searching for the pufflings and when they find them, they take them to the team of experts in the town who weigh, clean, feed, and care for the pufflings. They are then released back to the wild in their natural habitats; where they belong.
Iceland has 40% of the World’s population of Atlantic Puffins, and amongst other factors, Global warming is taking its toll on the birds. The population of puffins in Iceland has dropped from around 7 million to 5.4 million since the early 2000s.
It’s common knowledge in Heimaey that if you find a puffling in town, you bring it to the team. The Puffin Patrol kids have allowed researchers to weigh and record thousands of puffins, and work towards a solution to their endangerment.
The future is uncertain for them, but those rescued by the patrol get another chance at life in the world.