Popping out for a fish supper

July 22, 2010

Researchers using the latest sat-nav technology to track the flight paths of puffins hope to gain information that may prove essential to the birds' survival. The species' population around the Farne Islands off the coast of Northumberland declined by a dramatic 30 per cent in 2008. Now a team from Newcastle University, working with National Trust wardens, has fitted Global Positioning System loggers to 12 puffins to track their movements. It has discovered that they make a beeline for feeding-ground "hotspots" about 20 miles away from the islands, rather than much further out to sea as had previously been thought. Monitoring these feeding grounds could play an important role in future conservation efforts.

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