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Effectiveness of emetics to study plastic ingestion by Leach's Storm-petrels (Oceanodroma leucorhoa)
journal contributionposted on 2023-05-17, 16:44 authored by Bond, AL, Jennifer Lavers
Most plastic ingestion studies rely on dissection of dead birds, which are found opportunistically, and may be biased. We used Leach’s Storm-petrels (Oceanodroma leucorhoa) in Newfoundland to study the effect of dose volume, and the efficacy of emesis using syrup of ipecac as an emetic. Ipecac is a safe method of non-lethally sampling stomach contents, and recovered all ingested plastic. Almost half the storm-petrels sampled had ingested plastic, ranging from 0 to 17 pieces, and weighing 0.2–16.9 mg. Using the Ecological Quality Objective for Northern Fulmars, adjusted for storm-petrels smaller size, 43% exceeded the threshold of 0.0077 g of plastic. Many adult seabirds offload plastic to their offspring, so storm-petrel chicks likely experience a higher plastic burden than their parents. The ability to study plastic ingestion non-lethally allows researchers to move from opportunistic and haphazard sampling to hypothesis-driven studies on a wider range of taxa and age classes.
Publication titleMarine Pollution Bulletin
Department/SchoolInstitute for Marine and Antarctic Studies
PublisherPergamon-Elsevier Science Ltd
Place of publicationThe Boulevard, Langford Lane, Kidlington, Oxford, England, Ox5 1Gb
Rights statementCopyright 2013 Elsevier Ltd.