90% Of Seabirds Have Plastic In Their Stomachs, Study Reveals

Posted: Sep 1 2015, 12:34am CDT | by , Updated: Sep 1 2015, 12:40am CDT, in News | Latest Science News


90% of Birds have Plastic in their Stomachs, Study Reveals
Photo Credit: Getty Images

Plastic pollution is rapidly increasing and is threatening for seabird species all over the world. If it continues the same way, 99% birds will have plastic pieces by 2050, new study predicts

A recent study suggests that 90 percent of birds have plastic in their guts. The plastic debirs has found in shocking number on all the oceans of the world and has reached to 580,000 pieces per kilometer.

If plastic pollution continues, 99% of seabird species will have plastic in their bodies by 2050, study published in PNAS suggests. 

The researchers from Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization, Australia and Imperial College London analyzed various studies published since 1962. Based on those findings, they created different models to predict the potential impact of the plastic pollution on 186 species of seabirds. 

On average 29% seabirds had plastic in their guts in early 60s. The plastic ingestion in birds has increased over the years. It has reached to 90% as of right now and will touch 99% by the half of the century. 

“For the first time, we have a global prediction of how wide-reaching plastic impacts may be on marine species and the results are striking,” said Chris Wilcox, the lead author of the study.

“We predict using historical observations that 90 percent of individual seabirds have eaten plastic. This is a huge amount and really points to the ubiquity of plastic pollution.”

The high risk area is Tasman Sea in South Pacific Ocean which is located between Australia and New Zealand. Large seabird populations are ingesting plastic there. The birds on Southern boundary of Indian, Pacific and Atlantic Oceans are also facing great danger. But according to study the “threat is geographically widespread, pervasive and rapidly increasing.” 

“Every ocean is now filled with plastic. Some have more than others.” Dr. Van Sebille, the co-author of the study said.

The study suggests the effective waste management is the solution to the problem. 

Wilcox explained. “Because exposure to plastic turns out to be a strong predictor of how much plastic the birds have in them, the more plastic they’re exposed to, the more they ingest – this implies if we reduce the amount of plastic going into the oceans, you will expect all these species to essentially respond.” 


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Hira Bashir covers daily affairs around the world.




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