What we're looking for
We are looking for a volunteer who is enthusiastic about being outdoors and interested in helping conserve the Atlantic puffin (Fratercula arctica) colony on Fidra Island. There has been a large puffin population decline over much of Europe and in the UK the puffin is included on the Red list of UK Birds of Conservation after being listed as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List. The main threats towards puffins are declines in the small fish they feed on, as well as other hazards including mammalian predators, invasive species and pollution. Tree mallow is a plant which was introduced to the Forth 300 years ago by humans to be used as antiseptic poultices and even toilet paper! However, over the last 20-30 years, tree mallow has become very invasive across the Forth Islands, creating large dominant stands of the plant which prevent seabirds, including the puffins, from nesting causing declines in important populations across the Forth. Since 2011 volunteers and work parties have been helping to tackle the problem by removing the tree mallow on Fidra before it sets seed. Fantastic progress has been made over the years as natural vegetation is recovering and puffins are nesting with less interference from the tree mallow, but it is an ongoing battle. Therefore, we would love for you to help the RSPB conserve our local puffin colony on Fidra Island by maintaining the tree mallow growth through cutting it down when the puffins are out to sea, preparing a welcoming nesting ground upon their return in the Spring.