Marine plastic killing our birds

Seabirds which search for food in the Tasman Sea are mistaking plastic for food and are left to die on Lord Howe Island, just to the east of Australia. Surveys show that some birds stomachs held more than 50 pieces of plastic and in the latest survey one even contained more than 200!

The birds numbers are falling and Dr Lavers said “in last month’s survey 95 per cent of nesting shearwaters had some plastic in their stomachs and it was hard to find living chicks.” The sea floor is covered with dead marine life but laysan albatross brought plastic back to their nests and both adults and thier chicks died.

We should be more careful and aware of this issue. Dr Lavers also said ”This year we checked more than 200 nests and we found six chicks – one of them dead. We have to ask: ‘is this just a bad year, or is this population tanking?”’

According to Dr Lavers, Mercury, which is toxic to birds, was also found in the shearwaters. This week, a giant petrel was found at Lakes Entrance dead. A Bairnsdale vet, jason Wong, said a piece of plastic was found blocking its crop and styrofoam  was in its stomach. He usually finds plastic in other dead seabirds as well.

So think about what you’re doing before you do it and what it will really do.

Cover image source:

3 thoughts on “Marine plastic killing our birds

  1. Our love of plastic is having an impact on other species around us, isn’t it? An effective use of quotes from the experts presented in the article. This is a thoughtful response to an important issue. Did you know at the moment that many states are considering a plastic bottle refund scheme which aims to get more bottles recycled, and less into our environment? Hopefully it gets the go-ahead. Could you please edit your post and include a link to the article that you reference here? Also, remember the apostrophe of possession – bird’s stomachs, birds’ numbers. Your last sentence uses an imperative tone for us to take action, but it could have been a bit clearer about what action we can take. This is a well-considered addition to our class discussion of the environment. Thanks!

  2. Pingback: Leucistic Laysan albatross chick | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  3. Pingback: Dead Birds, Tasmanian muttonbirds now: Anyone who see sick or injured wildlife is advised to call the department on RACV Wildlife Connect |

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