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GAP Analysis Predicted Distribution Map

Tufted Puffin (Fratercula cirrhata)

Species Code: FRCI

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Breeding Range Map
The green area shows the predicted habitats for breeding only.
© NatureMapping Program

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Predicted breeding range

= Core Habitat
= Marginal Habitat


Tufted puffin photo

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Breeding Range Map
The green area shows the predicted habitats for breeding only. The habitats were identified using 1991 satellite imagery, Breeding Bird Atlas (BBA), other datasets and experts throughout the state, as part of the Washington Gap Analysis Project. Habitats used during non-breeding months and migratory rest-stops were not mapped.

NatureMapping observations map   Map with Breeding 
Bird Atlas records
Observations | Historic Gap points

Metadata (Data about data or how the map was made)


This species is locally common on offshore islands along the outer coast and inland waterways, from Grays Harbor to western Skagit and Island Counties.

Good habitats in the core areas of use included all non-estuarine coastal habitat in zones adjacent to the coast, limited to twenty islands total in San Juan, Jefferson, Island, Clallam, and Grays Harbor Counties.

Tufted Puffin numbers typically fluctuate annually, based on food supply and climactic events (such as El Nino/Southern Oscillation events). However, alarming declines have occurred in recent years. Formerly, Protection Island and Smith/Minor Island colonies formed the inland waterway nucleus of Tufted Puffin breeding, with several smaller satellites, totaling over 1000 pairs in 1950, and about 800 pair in the 1970s. This population has been decimated, with only 13 pairs noted at Destruction Island in 1995, though in contrast, there was a report of a significant increase for this species at Protection Island from 1975 to 1984. Food supply is not implicated in this decline, as prey have remained stable in the straits; instead gill-netting coupled with the El Nino/Southern Oscillation effects of recent years, may be the cause. Additionally, inter-specific competition with Rhinoceros Auklets for nesting sites may limit breeding.

Translated from the Washington Gap Analysis Bird Volume by Uchenna Bright
Text edited by Gussie Litwer
Webpage designed by Dave Lester