Puffins Facing Extinction Due to Overfishing and Pollution

By Gary Cutlack on at

Lovely little puffins, the over-trusting weirdo birds of many remote rocky coastal areas, are facing extinction around the UK, thanks to the combined horrors of overfishing ruining their food sources and pollution generally filling them with plastic and other bad things.

And the puffin isn't the only British bird facing new threats. The International Union for Conservation of Nature has added three other UK birds to its Red List of Threatened Species -- the imminently wipe-out-able death list -- warning that European turtle doves, Slavonian grebes and pochards, whatever they may be, are also on the things-to-worry-about scale.

Martin harper from the RSPB told the BBC: "The erosion of the UK's wildlife is staggering and this is reinforced when you talk about puffin and turtle dove now facing the same level of extinction threat as African elephant and lion, and being more endangered than the humpback whale."

The Atlantic puffin, our most widespread form of the bird, is now officially classed as being "vulnerable to extinction" by the researchers, one step below endangered. There are loads left, though, so they've got a few years to go before the decline in young birds starts to have a serious impact on population numbers. [BBC]