Essay on Puffin Bird

What are the Effects of Overfishing on Puffin Population?
Schwartz points at overfishing as a major cause for the decline of puffin numbers along the coast of Iceland. Impliedly, these birds live on the fish that they prey on from the large water bodies along the coast of the country. Increased fishing activities have led to the decrease in the population of fish in the water (Schwartz). As a result, the birds are forced to fly over long distances to find food, especially for the young ones. Thus, the distance involved consumes of a lot of their energy, which leads to their exhaustion. Eventually, the puffins die.

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On the other hand, Kress argues that the observed decline in the puffin population is caused by the reduction in the herring population in Maine. The menhaden, otherwise known as the ‘pogies’, have replaced them. Although the puffins also consume the pogies, they are more used to the herring. Overfishing is a major problem, as posited by the author (Kress). According to him, fishers in Maine use large fleets for fishing, which are referred to as the midwater trawlers. These machines have the capacity to hold millions of herring in one fishing exercise. Hence, these figures show the adverse implications that overfishing has on the population of herrings and consequently the puffin.

Synthesis. Shwartz and Kress agree that excess fishing causes the reduction of Puffin population. When this happens, the birds lack enough food, which sometimes makes them to fly over long distances to look for food.

What Effect Does Climate Change Have on Puffin Population?
Although Schwartz has mentioned pollution as a possible cause for the decline of the number of Puffins, he does not provide fine details of how it impacts the population. Instead, he emphasizes the impact that the change in the climate has on puffin population. For instance, the increase in the temperature of the waters has led to the decline in the population of silvery sand eels. Notably, these organisms are the major meal for the puffins (Schwartz). Also, a slight increase in temperature affects their growth adversely. Hence, the amount of food available for the Puffins reduces significantly. As a result, the older puffins have devised a new way of surviving through starving the young ones. Instead of struggling to fetch for their young ones, they neglect their responsibilities and leave them to die to reduce the level of dependency (Schwartz). This behavior has contributed significantly to the reduction in the population of the puffins in Iceland and its environs.

Another aspect identified by Kress is the increase in ocean temperatures because of climatic changes. When the temperature of the water increases, seabird fish such as the herring move to the offshore and deeper waters where the temperature is lower (Kress). As a result, the puffins cannot forage for the fish. Thus, the birds starve and reduce in number.

Synthesis. Kress and Schwartz both point to the fact that changes in the climate adversely impact the Puffin population. One hand, Swartz blames the increase in the temperature of the waters for the death of the silvery sand eels, which are the primary food for the Puffins. On the other hand, Kress argues that the rise in temperatures causes the herrings to move to deeper and colder waters, which makes it difficult for the birds to reach them. Thus, the two authors disagree on how changes in the temperature of water affects the fish and consequently the birds. Nevertheless, both accounts justify the reduction in Puffin population.

What Effects Does Human Disturbance have on the Population of Puffins?
Schwartz argues that human interference or disturbance with the Puffins occurs thorough excess fishing. Were it not for the extensive fishing activities of the people living along the shores of large water bodies, there would be more fish for the birds to feed on. Impliedly, the over-indulgence of the human beings causes a shortage of food supply to the Puffins. As a result, the birds are forced to fly over long distances to look for food for their young ones. This long distance leads to fatigue, which consequently reduces the energy the bird has to reproduce.

The Irish Times reports that human activity leads to the disruption of the lives of the Puffins. Here, the constant overfly of aircrafts used by tourists to the shores causes disturbance. As a result, the birds are forced to fly over long distances to areas that are more peaceful and come back when the number of people at the shores reduces. According to the author, this constant movement drains the birds of the reproductive energy making most of them to raise one chick on average (Irish Times).

Synthesis. Both Schwartz and the Irish Times agree that human activity affects the Puffin population in various ways. Whereas the former blames overfishing, the latter points towards noise disturbance. Nevertheless, both factors cause the birds to travel over long distances, which reduces their reproduction energy.

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