Birds of Indian Subcontinent

A Fourteen-Year Survey of Plastic Ingestion by Western North Atlantic Seabirds

Publication Type:Journal Article
Year of Publication:1992
Authors:Moser, ML, Lee, DS
Journal:Colonial Waterbirds
Date Published:1992
ISBN Number:07386028
Keywords:Alcidae, Ardenna gravis, Fratercula, Fratercula arctica, Fulmarus, Fulmarus glacialis, Phalaropus, Phalaropus fulicaria, Phalaropus fulicarius, Procellariidae, Puffinus, Puffinus gravis, Scolopacidae
Abstract:To evaluate the incidence of ocean-borne plastic particle ingestion by western North Atlantic seabirds, we analyzed the gut contents of 1033 birds collected off the coast of North Carolina from 1975-1989. Twenty-one of 38 seabird species (55%) contained plastic particles. Procellariiform birds contained the most plastic and the presence of plastic was clearly correlated with feeding mode and diet. Plastic ingestion by procellariiforms increased over the 14 year study period, probably as a result of increasing plastic particle availability. Some seabirds showed a tendency to select specific plastic shapes and colors, indicating that they may be mistaking plastics for potential prey items. We found no evidence that seabird health was affected by the presence of plastic, even in species containing the largest quantities: Northern Fulmars (Fulmarus glacialis), Red Phalaropes (Phalaropus fulicaria) and Greater Shearwaters (Puffinus gravis).
Short Title:Colonial Waterbirds
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