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Why Project Puffin Was Started
When Project Puffin began, all the puffins nesting along the Maine coast were on just two islands- Matinicus Rock and Machias Seal Island on the U.S./Canadian border. The two surviving colonies were vulnerable to a disaster such as an oil spill, or accidental invasion of predators such as rats or mink.
Although puffins are not an endangered species (millions still nest in Newfoundland, Iceland, and Britain), they are rare in Maine and are listed by the state as a threatened species. Despite their large numbers in Europe, recent declines in populations and nesting success have led to them receiving world status of Threatened and Endangered in Europe by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)