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12.04 Tammie the Puffin, Scottish Seabird CentreTammie the Puffin travels the Lothians to raise awareness of campaign

Wild Scotland and its members have been working with the Scottish Seabird Centre to mark the return of the puffins to the Firth of Forth islands.

The Scottish Seabird Centre’s popular mascot, Tammie the Puffin is embarking on a very special tour across the region to raise awareness of the plight of these beautiful and admired seabirds as part of this year’s Watch out for the Puffins.

Tammie will be travelling to four locations across the Edinburgh and Lothians region over the next month and clues will be given to Tammie’s location on www.seabird.org, Facebook /ScottishSeabirdCentre, on twitter @SeabirdCentre and in person at the Centre. A special word for each location will also be given.

On finding Tammie and providing the special word, members of the public will win passes for free entry to the Scottish Seabird Centre’s award-winning Discovery Centre and they will also be entered into a prize draw to win trips with Wild Scotland members worth over £1,500.

Puffin numbers have been in decline in many parts of Scotland over recent years – locally the invasion of a 9ft alien plant called tree mallow on the islands of Craigleith and Fidra (owned by the RSPB) has prevented puffins from reaching their burrows to nest leading to a dramatic fall in puffin numbers on islands just off North Berwick.

Over the last five years, the Scottish Seabird Centre’s SOS Puffin campaign has seen a huge volunteer effort help the puffins, with over 900 people travelling to the islands to cut down the tree mallow, enabling puffins to reach their burrows to nest. Despite this success, SOS Puffin needs to continue.

Caroline Warburton, Manager at Wild Scotland, said “I would urge as many people as possible to keep their eyes peeled for the clues, not only so they can meet the famous Tammie the Puffin but also to be in with the chance of winning the great wildlife-watching and other outdoor activities that our members are offering. There’s a fantastic range of outdoor experiences to be had, right across Scotland, and these prizes provide just a taste of what’s on offer.”

Tom Brock OBE, Chief Executive of the Scottish Seabird Centre, said: “’Watch out for the Puffins’ has been an award-winning campaign and this year we are moving things forward with a new twist! By getting Tammie the Puffin out and about across the region we hope to engage with new audiences, to raise awareness of this very important conservation issue while also introducing people to these fantastic seabirds.

“The Firth of Forth islands are of international importance for wildlife and by next month the area will be home to around 500,000 seabirds including gannets, kittiwakes, guillemots, razorbills, fulmars, shags, terns as well as the famous puffins. We would encourage as many people as possible to visit the Centre and see these amazing seabirds in action with our fantastic interactive live cameras.”

The prizes include:

Tammie the Puffin will be in four different locations – to be revealed in advance – on 27 April plus the 4, 11 and 18 May. Visit www.seabird.org Facebook/ScottishSeabirdCentre, twitter @SeabirdCentre or ask at the Centre for the clues.

For more information on the Scottish Seabird Centre visit www.seabird.org

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