Comments being accepted through Jan. 23 on status of tufted puffins, Steller sea lions – PDN

As numbers of tufted puffins collapse, probably due to dwindling herring stocks, the state looks into listing them as endangered. The puffin has traditionally reproduced on Protection Island. It has been one of the most southern breeding grounds in the northern hemisphere, and likely they will vanish soon from there without protection.

On the other hand, the Steller sea lion, which feeds on our dwindling salmon stocks.

State considers listing tufted puffin as endangered species – Skagit Valley Herald

When I first started coming to the Strait, in the late 70s, Tufted Puffins were quite common to see. Now, they rarely are seen.Many nested on Protection Island and the efforts to establish the island as a Federally protected place were an attempt to protect those populations.  Seems like my random observations are accurate. The state is working to see if there’s anyway to bring them back. Listing is one good starting point, but restoring the fish that these birds eat, such as herring which has seen a huge loss of resident populations, and is the target of restoration and protection, is going to be another key issue.

The state Department of Fish and Wildlife is accepting public comment on a status report for the tufted puffin, and a proposal to add the Pacific Northwest bird to the state’s list of endangered species. Tufted puffins are native seabirds once common in the San Juan Islands, Strait of Juan de Fuca and along the state’s coast, Fish and Wildlife said in a news release. But over the last several decades, 38 of 43 known breeding sites have been abandoned or seen significant declines in use. (Skagit Valley Herald)

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