Trophy Hunters Slammed for Shooting Puffins in Iceland Skip to content

Trophy Hunters Slammed for Shooting Puffins in Iceland

By Yelena

Atlantic puffin

British trophy hunters are paying as much as £3,000 ($3,700/€3,300) for puffin hunting trips in Iceland, according to a recently published article from The Independent. On such trips, hunters reportedly kill up to 100 birds at a time. The Atlantic puffin is protected in the UK but it remains legal to hunt the bird in Iceland.

Over half of the world’s population of Atlantic puffins breeds in Iceland, numbering some 8-10 million birds. In 2018, BirdLife International declared the Atlantic puffin in danger of extinction. The puffin’s conservation status was also recently rated as vulnerable by the IUCN. Puffin hunting is legal in Iceland, and the bird is served as a local delicacy at restaurants around the country.

Erpur Snær Hansen, director of Nátturustofa Suðurlands (The South Iceland Nature Institute), says puffin numbers have dropped since 2003, though they remain the largest stocks of any bird in Iceland. Experts reported that puffin numbers in Iceland dipped significantly last year due to various environmental factors. They appear to be on the upswing in some areas of the country this year.

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