Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Efforts to combat Puffin losses on the British Isles

The island's puffin population has suffered in recent years from an invasion by an alien plant species, which grew out of control and smothered the birds' burrows, leaving them unable to lay their eggs, driving them away from the island.

Tree mallow, a Mediterranean species which can grow up to three metres tall, is believed to have been introduced to the Bass Rock in the 17th century for medicinal use. It is thought that warmer weather, as a result of climate change, has helped the plant to spread at the puffins' expense.

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