"Overfishing, hunting and pollution are putting pressure on the birds, but climate change may prove to be the biggest challenge."
"GRIMSEY ISLAND, Iceland — Puffins are in trouble.
The birds have been in precipitous decline, especially since the 2000s, both in Iceland and across many of their Atlantic habitats. The potential culprits are many: fickle prey, overfishing, pollution. Scientists say that climate change is another underlying factor that is diminishing food supplies and is likely to become more important over time. And the fact that puffins are tasty, and thus hunted as game here, hardly helps.
Annette Fayet is trying to solve the mystery of the dwindling Atlantic puffins, and that is why she was reaching shoulder deep into a burrow here last month. She gently drew a puffin out, having snagged its leg with a thick wire she had curved into a shepherd’s crook. As she brought the croaking seabird into the light, it defecated copiously on her pants, which were, thanks to her long experience with birds, waterproof."