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131467 - A quantitative analysis linking seabird mortality and marine debris ingestion.pdf (1.18 MB)

A quantitative analysis linking seabird mortality and marine debris ingestion

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journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-20, 01:54 authored by Lauren RomanLauren Roman, Hardesty, BD, Mark HindellMark Hindell, Wilcox, C
Procellariiformes are the most threatened bird group globally, and the group with the highest frequency of marine debris ingestion. Marine debris ingestion is a globally recognized threat to marine biodiversity, yet the relationship between how much debris a bird ingests and mortality remains poorly understood. Using cause of death data from 1733 seabirds of 51 species, we demonstrate a significant relationship between ingested debris and a debris-ingestion cause of death (dose-response). There is a 20.4% chance of lifetime mortality from ingesting a single debris item, rising to 100% after consuming 93 items. Obstruction of the gastro-intestinal tract is the leading cause of death. Overall, balloons are the highest-risk debris item; 32 times more likely to result in death than ingesting hard plastic. These findings have significant implications for quantifying seabird mortality due to debris ingestion, and provide identifiable policy targets aimed to reduce mortality for threatened species worldwide.

Funding

Holsworth Wildlife Research Endowment

History

Publication title

Scientific Reports

Volume

9

Article number

3202

Number

3202

Pagination

1-7

ISSN

2045-2322

Department/School

Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies

Publisher

Nature Publishing Group

Place of publication

United Kingdom

Rights statement

Copyright 2019 the authors. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

Repository Status

  • Open

Socio-economic Objectives

Assessment and management of terrestrial ecosystems; Ecosystem adaptation to climate change

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