Project Puffin, Eastern Egg Rock

Project Description

The National Audubon Society started Project Puffin in 1973 to learn how to restore puffins to islands in the Gulf of Maine. Back then, there were only two surviving puffin colonies in Maine (on Matinicus Rock and Machias Seal Island). A single disaster, such as an oil spill, or accidental establishment of predators such as rats or mink, could have wiped them out. Puffins had nested on Eastern Egg Rock until about 1885 when hunters took the last survivors of this once-flourishing colony. Puffins return to breed at the place from which they were hatched. So, Audubon brought six 10-14 da...

Project Map

Publicly Accessible: No

Project Sites

  • Project Puffin, Eastern Egg Rock (Not publicly accessible)

Goals and Targets

Primary Motivations:

  • Conservation Mission
    Audubon’s Mission: To conserve and restore natural ecosystems, focusing on birds, other wildlife, and their habitats for the benefit of humanity and the earth's biological diversity.

Targeted Habitats:

No targeted habitats were identified for this project.

Targeted Species:

  • Atlantic Puffin Fratercula arctica
  • Roseate Tern Sterna dougallii

Conservation Actions

Action Status Start Year End Year
Reintroduce native species Ongoing Management 1973 --


Is the success of this project's actions being monitored? Yes

Monitoring Activities
"Atlantic Puffins, Common, Arctic, and Roseate Terns, Black Guillemots,The Eastern Egg Rock field season begins in mid May and continues through mid August. The island supervisor is responsible for coordinating the timing of specific projects and participation by staff and volunteers throughout the field season and for writing a final report. Work includes, but is not limited to the following projects; annual tern, eider, and laughing gull census, tern band resighting, tern chick Eastern Egg Rock Arial by Steve Kressprovisioning, productivity and growth studies, puffin census, productivity, band resighting and provisioning studies, vegetation monitoring and management and daily weather and bird lists. "

Lessons Learned and/or Suggestions for Similar Activities
"Techniques such as gull and vegetation control, use of tern decoys, and tape recordings of courtship sounds broadcast from the islands are helping to restore colonies. "

Any Additional Information About The Project
"These techniques have also helped to protect the terns at Matinicus Rock and establish new tern colonies at Seal Island, Stratton Island (Saco Bay), Jenny Island (Casco Bay), and Pond Island (Kennebec River), and Outer Green Island. These methods are also proving useful for helping endangered seabirds in the Galapagos Islands of Ecuador (Dark-rumped Petrels), California (Common Murres) and Japan (Short-tailed Albatross). At least 40 seabird species in 12 countries have benefited from seabird restoration techniques developed by Project Puffin." --from Project Puffin's website (see link at right)

Quick Facts

Owning Organization

Defenders of Wildlife

Managing Organization

National Audubon Society
(Non-Governmental Organization)

Contact Information

Audubon Action Center

General Information

Project #: 197155
Last Updated: November 08, 2012

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