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Plastic Massively Impacts Seabirds Globally

Cara J

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Almost all seabirds alive today have consumed some form of plastic, and the number will only increase in the future if no action is taken to stop plastic from entering the ocean, according to a recent study. In the study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, researchers estimated that 90 percent of individual seabirds have consumed plastic, which can impact the gut, cause weight loss and sometimes even death. “This is a huge amount and really points to the ubiquity of plastic pollution,” said lead author Chris Wilcox, a senior research scientist at Australia’s Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO) Oceans and Atmosphere Flagship in a press release. Further, in an earlier study Wilcox contributed to, he found that 4.8 million metric tons of plastic enter the ocean each year. Both studies were conducted by a working group at UC Santa Barbara’s National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis (NCEAS) and supported by the Ocean Conservancy in Washington, D.C. As part of the study, researchers implemented a new technique of using oil that seabirds secrete as a quicker and easier way to determine the amount of plastic in a seabird’s system. Not only did they find [...]


Read more: http://wildlife.org/plastic-massively-impacts-seabirds-globally/

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