LONDON: Puffins as well as other coastal species are under threat in Britain as erosion and climate change destroy their habitat, the country’s National Trust warned yesterday.
According to the organisation, Britain’s 12,955kms coastline is already seeing rising sea levels, with projections suggesting waters could be half a metre higher than at present by 2100.
In a bid to show how plants, animals and humans would have to live alongside “an increasing rate of environmental change”, the Trust published a list of six species or “six canaries in the mine”, referring to the birds sent down mines to reveal the presence of dangerous gases.
It said puffins, whose black back, white underparts and brightly coloured beak make the birds instantly recognisable, were among those which could be “seriously affected” by unpredictable weather.
“Climate change could change the face of our coastal flora and fauna,” Matthew Oates, the Trust’s National Specialist on Nature and Wildlife, said in a statement.
“Wildlife which relies on the gradual erosion of soft rock cliffs or lives on loose sand and shingle habitats could be caught out by an increasingly mobile landscape as a result of extremes in weather.”
Britain has been recording more hottest, coldest, wettest or driest months on record, potentially affecting costal habitats.