I have been lucky enough to visit the archipelago of St Kilda the remotest part of the British Isles and one of the world’s most important seabird breeding stations a few times.
However, new evidence has shown the survival of species such as kittiwakes on St Kilda is being threatened by climate change.
The small gull may disappear from the archipelago for good, according to a bird survey by the National Trust for Scotland.
Kittiwakes failed to breed on St Kilda this season, with just one chick born there this year. The population has fallen by 90% since 2000.
There has been disruption to the species’ food chain due to warming seas to the west of the Hebrides, driving the marine life the birds rely on further north into colder seas or deeper into the water and starving them of food.
The number of fulmar chicks, as well as the wonderful puffins with their unmistakable call which always makes me think of the sound of deep laughter, full of mischief are also consistently declining on St Kilda.
Our seabird colonies are in peril as the major ecological effects of climate change are happening in the marine environment around Scotland right now.
As global leaders continued to negotiate a new climate change agreement in Paris, Scotland has been playing its part as the first country in the world to establish a climate justice fund, then double its budget and cut emissions by a whopping 38% since 1990.
Imagine if every country could say this too, regardless of its size.
The Paris talks are make or break. What happens will determine the future of our seabirds. And if they fail, the world will lack the effective collective action it requires to stem global warming.
I hope the 195 countries involved make the progress needed to halt the effects that are already leaving people and nature across this planet struggling to survive.
We need to protect our environment so the next generation can experience the joy of seeing our majestic seabirds and hearing the cheery chortle of the puffins of St Kilda.