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THE PUFFIN PLAN by Stephen W. Kress


Restoring Seabirds To Egg Rock and Beyond

by Stephen W. Kress & Derrick Z. Jackson

Pub Date: July 1st, 2020
ISBN: 978-1-943431-57-1
Publisher: Tumblehome Learning

Ornithologist Kress and his team restore puffins to Maine’s Eastern Egg Rock.

When Kress became a birdlife instructor at Maine’s Hog Island Audubon Camp in 1969, the seabird biologist discovered that puffins once nested on nearby Eastern Egg Rock. Overhunting of their feathers for hats in the 1800s led to their disappearance. Realizing that humans had a responsibility to save these colorfully beaked birds, Kress developed a plan. Kress and journalist co-author Jackson chronicle what came to be known as Project Puffin. Starting with six puffin chicks from Newfoundland, Canada, in 1973, Kress and his team spent years figuring out ways to make Eastern Egg Rock a viable nesting location. Rather than bog readers down in minutiae, the conversational narrative enhanced by archival photos blends the right amount of logistical details with accounts of harrowing setbacks, constant trial and error, and eventual success. And rather than end there, the authors include a look at climate change and its negative impact on the puffins’ still-fragile ecosystem. They offer readers hope, however, with examples of successful seabird restoration projects around the world, from the rescue of the Short-tailed Albatross on Japan’s Torishima Island to the African Penguin Relocation Project in South Africa. While calling on young people to help, the authors also don’t skirt such controversial topics as gull control (i.e., killing gulls to save puffins).

Sure to hatch activism in budding environmentalists.

(Nonfiction. 12-16)