Iceland's Beloved Puffin Now Officially Endangered - The Reykjavik Grapevine

Iceland’s Beloved Puffin Now Officially Endangered

Published April 23, 2018

Photos by
Art Bicnick

The sea bird so iconic to Iceland that it has become emblematic of tourist shops is now officially in danger of extinction.

There are three species added to the endangered list, according to the new State of the World’s Birds report for 2018: the snowy owl, the European turtle dove, and the Atlantic puffin.

“The data are unequivocal. We are undergoing a steady and continuing deterioration in the status of the world’s birds,” said Tris Allinson, BirdLife’s Senior Global Science Officer, and Editor-In-Chief of the report. “The threats driving the avian extinction crisis are many and varied, but invariably of humanity’s making.”

Iceland’s puffin population has been teetering on the edge of depletion for many years now. The overhunting of puffins was documented as far back as 2013, which the government responded to by shortening the hunting season for the birds. This appeared to have little effect, as puffins became threatened in 2015.

As such, it is likely that a moratorium on puffin hunting will soon be issued.

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