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PUFFINS

COASST Island Sentinels

 

What caused more than 300 puffins to wash up dead in the Pribilof Islands last fall? Starvation.

COASST Island Sentinels

In the past two months, 300 dead puffins have washed up on St. Paul Island, alarming residents who had only seen six carcasses over the last decade.

The die-off appears to be slowing down now, but scientists say it could be the sign of a much larger ecosystem problem.

Lauren Divine didn't panic when St. Paul residents found a few dead puffins on the beach in mid-October.

"The first day was a tufted puffin. The next day was a horned puffin. I didn't think too much about it," said Divine, co-director of St. Paul's Ecosystem Conservation Office (ECO).