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Seabirds and plastics don't mix: Examining the differences in marine plastic ingestion in wedge-tailed shearwater chicks at near-shore and offshore locations

Version 2 2024-06-05, 08:13
Version 1 2020-08-04, 09:37
journal contribution
posted on 2024-06-05, 08:13 authored by KM Verlis, Marnie CampbellMarnie Campbell, SP Wilson
Plastic ingestion by wedge-tailed shearwaters (WTS) nesting at near-shore and offshore sites along the east coast of Australia were investigated. Ingestion rates were at 20% in near-shore lavaged WTS, where the beaches were significantly more polluted, compared to 8% in birds at offshore sites. The material and colour of recovered plastics at offshore sites differed significantly between beach surveys and that ingested by seabirds in the same area. This pattern was not evident near-shore. Hence, in near-shore environments birds may feed locally and are influenced by nearby plastics, compared to birds offshore. The origins of marine debris between near-shore and offshore beaches differed; with land-based sources unsurprisingly having more influence on near-shore sites. The findings of this study indicate the need for localised data to address and manage this pollutant, with nesting seabirds at greater risk in near-shore environments. A preliminary modified ecological quality objective for WTS is presented.

History

Journal

Marine Pollution Bulletin

Volume

135

Pagination

852-861

Location

Amsterdam, The Netherlands

ISSN

0025-326X

eISSN

1879-3363

Language

eng

Publication classification

C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Copyright notice

2018

Publisher

Elsevier

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