This year marks the 50th anniversary of a wildlife conservation project aimed at saving the Atlantic puffin off the coast of Maine, the United States, and in short four years, the number of breeding seabirds has almost doubled.
In 2019, there were 750 breeding pairs on two islands, Eastern Egg Rock and Sea Island. Today, that number is over 1,300, and the bird is now thriving on four islands: the two previously mentioned plus Matinicus Rock and Petit Manan Island.
In 1973, Project Puffin was launched. Biologist Steve Kress and the National Audubon Society wanted to reestablish the seabird where it had been decimated. In order to kickstart the project, some 2,000 puffin chicks had been brought from Newfoundland, Canada, and in 1981, the first breeding occurred.