Target: The president of Iceland Guðni Thorlacius Jóhannesson,
Atlantic puffins have made a comeback since their decline in the 19th century. However, due to the many negative factors surrounding them their population can once again decline. Factors that are affecting puffin populations include global warming, oil spills, over fishing, and a tradition in Iceland that includes the consumption of Puffin meat. A possible solution to stop the decline of puffin populations would be to ban the consumption of puffin meat.
Atlantic puffins are small sea birds that have been nicknamed the “sea parrots”, due to their brightly colored beaks and feet. These peculiar creatures can be found on the eastern coast of Canada, the northern United States, the western coast of Europe, northern Russia, and Iceland. Puffin populations had once drastically decline. However, thanks to the Audubon project, to re-introduce puffins on former nesting islands off Maine, the puffin population was once again stabilized, and they were no longer considered endangered by the IUCN Redlist. Although these creatures are no longer considered endangered, there is a possibility that their numbers could once again drastically decline due to many negative factors plaguing their way of life. One of those factors would be global warming. Puffin birth rates are low as it is, since they typically lay only one egg. Warm waters due to global warming have affected their population growth even further. Puffins favor cold water so they typically have poor mating success in warm water. Another factor affecting puffin populations is their unstable food supply. Puffins are carnivores and they rely on fish and crustaceans such as herring, capelin, cod, shrimp, mollusks and marine worms as their main food supply. However, these fish and crustaceans, which also typically reside in cold waters are also affected by global warming. Over fishing by humans has also affected the puffin’s food supply which has led to the starvation of many adult and young puffins. Global warming also causes rising sea levels, which could destroy many puffin nesting grounds. Another big issue that threatens puffin colonies are oil spills. These spills can destroy the waterproofing on puffins’ feathers. Puffins could also become sick when they consume the oil from these oil spills while cleaning themselves. Iceland also has a tradition of capturing and consuming puffin meat. Due to a decline of puffin births the Iceland puffin population has become unstable and if hunting does not come to a halt they may soon disappear.
Puffin populations are constantly being affected by negative factors and as a result there unstable population puts them at risk of extinction. If we want to avoid another animal extinction we must act now. By stopping the puffin hunting in Iceland we can help these creatures thrive and once again repopulate the earth. President of Iceland Guðni Thoilacius Johannesson has the power to stop the hunting of puffins and I implore him to consider my proposition.