Puffin numbers on the Farne Islands are on the up

Puffin numbers on the Farne Islands, off the coast of Northumberland, are making a comeback after some challenging winters

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Puffin numbers on the Farne Islands, off the coast of Northumberland, are making a fighting comeback after some challenging winters.

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A recent census on the Farne Islands in the North East of England has shown an 8% increase in puffin numbers since 2008.

A team of 11 rangers have been checking thousands of burrows since May in search of the nesting puffins. This census takes place every five years.

Numbers have now reached 40,000 nesting pairs across eight islands run by the National Trust. However, this number is still lower than the 2003 census, which totalled 55, 674 puffins.

Due to severe winters and storms flooding the burrows, many puffins have perished in recent years but numbers are now recovering.

When dozens of seabirds washed up on the North East coast back in March, possibly due to food shortages and extreme weather, experts were concerned that puffin numbers would also be down.

Head ranger of the Farne Islands, David Steel, said, “It is a positive result and a step forward following worrying declines in recent years. This late start may result in puffins remaining at the colonies until later in the summer than normal, giving people more opportunity to enjoy watching them.”

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The Farne Islands doesn’t just host the charismatic puffins but is a wildlife haven with thousands of grey seals, arctic terns, guillemots and razorbills.