This species has experienced rapid declines across its European range. Population trends outside Europe are unknown. Extrapolated over three generation lengths and allowing for uncertainty, the population is thought to be declining at a rate sufficient to trigger Vulnerable under the population size criterion. Should population trends become less uncertain both within and outside its European range it may merit uplisting or downlisting.
AERC TAC. 2003. AERC TAC Checklist of bird taxa occurring in Western Palearctic region, 15th Draft. Available at: #http://www.aerc.eu/DOCS/Bird_taxa_of _the_WP15.xls#.
Cramp, S.; Perrins, C. M. 1977-1994. Handbook of the birds of Europe, the Middle East and Africa. The birds of the western Palearctic. Oxford University Press, Oxford.
del Hoyo, J.; Collar, N. J.; Christie, D. A.; Elliott, A.; Fishpool, L. D. C. 2014. HBW and BirdLife International Illustrated Checklist of the Birds of the World. Barcelona, Spain and Cambridge UK: Lynx Edicions and BirdLife International.
26-36 cm, wingspan 47-63 cm. Mostly black upperparts from neck, across throat with white breast, flanks and belly (Nettleship et al. 2014). White/grey face with black band from forehead to nape. Large triangular bill, radially compressed, bluish grey at base with pale yellow cere and orange/yellow rictal rosette at gape. Orange-red eye ring with soft brown iris. Juvenile resembles adult but generally smaller. Similar species Horned Puffin F. corniculata is larger and with different bill and facial ornaments.
Barrett, R.T., Anker-Nilsson, T., Rikardsen, F., Valde, K., Røv, N. and Vader, W. 1987. The food, growth and fledging success of Norwegian puffin chicks Fratercula arcitica in 1980-1983. Ornis Scandinavica 18: 73-83.
BirdLife International. 2000. The Development of Boundary Selection Criteria for the Extension of Breeding Seabird Special Protection Areas into the Marine Environment. OSPAR Convention for the Protection of the Marine Environment of the North-East Atlantic. Vlissingen (Flushing).
BirdLife International. 2015. European Red List of Birds. Office for Official Publications of the European Communities, Luxembourg.
Bradbury, G., Trinder, M., Furness, B., Banks, A.N., Caldow, R.W.G. and Hume, D. 2014. Mapping Seabird Sensitivity to Offshore Wind Farms. PLoS ONE 9(9): e106366.
Burger, A.E. and Simpson, M. 1986. Diving depths of Atlantic puffins and common murres. Auk 103: 828-830.
Corkhill, P. 1973. Food and feeding ecology of puffins. Bird Study 20(3): 207-220.
del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., and Sargatal, J. 1996. Handbook of the Birds of the World, vol. 3: Hoatzin to Auks. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona, Spain.
Durant, J.; Anker-Nilssen, T.; Stenseth, N. C. 2003. Trophic interactions under climate fluctuations: the Atlantic puffin as an example. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London Series B 270: 1461-1466.
Harris, M.P. 1984. A. & C. Black Publishers Ltd, London, UK.
Harris, M.P. and Hislop, J.R.G. 1978. The food of young puffins. Journal of Zoology 185: 213-236.
Harris, M.P. and Riddiford, N.J. 1989. The food of some young seabirds on Fair Isle in 1986-88. Scottish Birds 15: 119-125.
Harris, M.P. and Wanless, S. 1986. The food of young razorbills on the Isle of May and a comparison with that of young guillemots and puffins. Ornis Scandinavica 17: 41-46.
Harris, M.P. and Wanless, S. 2011. The Puffin. Poyser.
Hislop, J.R.G. and Harris, M.P. 1985. Recent changes in the food of young puffins (Fratercula arctica) on the Isle of May in relation to fish stocks. Ibis 127: 234-239.
IUCN. 2015. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2015-4. Available at: www.iucnredlist.org. (Accessed: 19 November 2015).
Martin, A.R. 1989. The diet of Atlantic puffin Fratercula arctica and northern gannet Sula bassana chicks at a Shetland colony during a period of changing prey availability. Bird Study 36(3): 170-180.
Miles, W.T.S., Mavor, R., Riddiford, N.J., Harvey, P.V., Riddington, R., Shaw, D.N., Parnaby, D. and Reid, J.M. 2015. Decline in an Atlantic Puffin Population: Evaluation of Magnitude and Mechanisms. PLoS ONE 10(7): e0131527.
Nettleship, D.N., Kirwan, G.M., Christie, D.A. and de Juana, E. 2014. Atlantic Puffin (Fratercula arctica). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. and de Juana, E. (eds), Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive, Lynx Edicions, Barcelona.
Pearson, T.H. 1968. The feeding ecology of sea-bird species breeding on the Farne Islands, Northumberland. Journal of Animal Ecology 37: 521-552.
Piatt, J.F., Nettleship, D.N. 1985. Diving depths of four alcids. The Auk 102: 293-297.
Rodway, M.S., Montevecchi, W. A. 1996. Sampling methods for assessing the diets of Atlantic puffin chicks . Marine Ecology Progress Series 144(1-3): 41-55.
Sandvik, H., Erikstad, K.E., Barrett, R.T. and Yoccoz, N.G. 2005. The effect of climate on adult survival in five species of North Atlantic seabirds. Journal of Animal Ecology 74(5): 817-831.
Stone, C.J., Harrison, N.M., Webb, A. & Best, B.J. Seabird distribution around Skomer and Skokholm Islands, June 1990. 1992. Seabird distribution around Skomer and Skokholm Islands, June 1990.
Stone, C.J., Webb, A., Barton, T.R. & Gordon, J.R.W. 1993. Seabird distribution around Skomer and Skokholm Islands, June 1992.
TemaNord. 2010. Action Plan for Seabirds in Western-Nordic Areas. Report from a workshop in Malmö, Sweden, 4-5 May 2010. Nordic Council of Ministers, Copenhagen.
Thorup, S.H., Jensen, J-K., Petersen, K.T. and Kasper, D.B. 2014. Færøsk Trækfugleatlas. The Faroese Bird Migration Atlas. Faroe University Press, Tórshavn.
Wanless, S., Harris, M.P. and Morris, J.A. 1990. A comparison of feeding areas used by individual common murres (Uria aalge) razorbills (Alca torda) and an Atlantic puffin (Fratercula arctica) during the breeding season. Colonial Waterbirds 13: 16-24.
Webb, A., Tasker, M.L. and Greenstreet, S.P.R. 1985. The distribution of guillemots (Uria aalge), razorbills (Alca torda) and puffins (Fratercula arctica) at sea around Flamborough Head, June 1984.
Further web sources of information
Detailed species account from Birds in Europe: population estimates trends and conservation status (BirdLife International 2004)
Text account compilers
Ashpole, J, Burfield, I., Butchart, S., Calvert, R., Ekstrom, J., Ieronymidou, C., Pople, R., Tarzia, M, Wheatley, H. & Wright, L
Gudmundsson, G., Harris, M., Wanless, S., Anker-Nilssen, T., Carboneras, C., Bourne, W. & Folkestad, A.
IUCN Red List evaluators
BirdLife International (2016) Species factsheet: Fratercula arctica. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 05/05/2016. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2016) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 05/05/2016.
This information is based upon, and updates, the information published in BirdLife International (2000) Threatened birds of the world. Barcelona and Cambridge, UK: Lynx Edicions and BirdLife International, BirdLife International (2004) Threatened birds of the world 2004 CD-ROM and BirdLife International (2008) Threatened birds of the world 2008 CD-ROM. These sources provide the information for species accounts for the birds on the IUCN Red List.
To provide new information to update this factsheet or to correct any errors, please email BirdLife
To contribute to discussions on the evaluation of the IUCN Red List status of Globally Threatened Birds, please visit BirdLife's Globally Threatened Bird Forums.
Additional resources for this species
|Current IUCN Red List category||Vulnerable|
|Species name author||(Linnaeus, 1758)|
|Population size||mature individuals|
|Distribution size (breeding/resident)||1,620,000 km2|
|Links to further information|
- Additional Information on this species|
- 2015 European Red List assessment