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Posted Wed Jun 4 2008: from Guardian (UK):
Puffin numbers plummet in UK's biggest colony
Naturalists working on the Isle of May, a major seabird colony on the Firth of Forth near Edinburgh, disclosed today that puffin numbers on the island have unexpectedly fallen by nearly a third this year after decades of continual increases in population.... Although the bird which has a relatively long 30-year lifecycle - congregates in large colonies such as the Isle of May to breed in the spring, it spreads across the sea to winter on the water. It also has a wide and varied diet, from zooplankton and worms, to small fish such as sand eels, and squid. As a result, its decline suggests a profound problem across the North Sea rather than an isolated or one-off event, said Harris. "We're looking for something acting over a substantial part of the North Sea," he said. "Something big is going on at a wide scale."
[Read more stories about: canary in coal mine, holyshit]

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