Tufted Puffins are iconic seabirds. Adapted to “flying underwater” to catch schooling forage fish and invertebrate prey with their large orange bills, puffins were once considered common in the Salish Sea. Historically, more than 40 puffin nesting colonies were documented in Washington, however recent work found nesting birds at only 17 sites and the population is thought to number less than a thousand birds.
With the support of private donors like you, SeaDoc helped write the scientific Status Review for Tufted Puffins, which the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) used to list the bird as Endangered. This State-private partnership, based on trust and scientific respect, was so unique that we even published a paper on it.
Thanks to a very generous donation by SeaDoc Founder, Kathy Dickenson, we’re back at it. This time, SeaDoc is teaming up with WDFW to write a recovery plan for these amazing birds. Recovery plans are action plans, often seen as the place where the rubber meets the road for conservation. This plan, which will be written by Drs. Thor Hanson (a SeaDoc special hire for this project), Scott Pearson (WDFW), and Peter Hodum (Univ. of Puget Sound), will detail what we need to do to bring this bird back.
We can’t wait to make the puffin common again and look forward to keeping you updated on the recovery plan, but more importantly, on puffin recovery.