Though not technically on the national endangered species list yet, the tufted puffin (Fratercula cirrhata) is listed as endangered specifically in Washington State thanks to work done in 2010 by our partners at the SeaDoc Society and friends from the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife. From this joint effort, a proposal to have them nationally listed was submitted and is currently under review by the U.S Fish and Wildlife Service.
According to a report by the WDFW in 2012, in the early 1900s tufted puffins commonly inhabited the San Juan Islands and Washington’s outer coastline. Their numbers were estimated at 44 colonies and more than 25,000 individuals. Today, it’s estimated only 19 colonies still exist comprised of approximately 3000 individuals and they are located almost exclusively on the outer coast.
Bycatch in fishing gear and impacts from introduced species are two possible causes of the tufted puffin’s decline. SR3 is committed to helping restore the Salish Sea to a healthy vibrant ecosystem that includes these incredible birds! We look forward to working with our partners to support the recovery efforts.
Here is more information on the status of the tufted puffin: