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September 2, 2008

Puffins in Decline

After years of successful conservation efforts, it appears puffins might be in trouble… at least according to this year’s breeding numbers. A survey showed a 30 percent reduction in the number of nesting pairs on the Isle of May off the coast of Scotland.The possible causes? The usual suspects: intensive fishing, agriculture, and global warming. While the puffin is not in imminent danger of going extinct, some scientists say what’s more worrisome is the recent decline in puffins as a larger symptom of greater ocean ills.Puffins are adorable, no two ways about it — they look almost fake in their cuteness. So what was British celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay thinking when he hunted and feasted on a raw puffin heart on a recent episode of his TV show, “The F Word”? Bad form, Mr. Ramsay.[Image: Terry Cavner via www.bbc.co.uk]