Ecological impacts of plastic ingestion by Antarctic and Sub-Antarctic seabirds (2018)
Degree NamePostgraduate Certificate in Antarctic Studies
PublisherUniversity of Canterbury
Antarctica, and the Southern Ocean, is considered to be the last ‘untouched wilderness’ on Earth. Yet marine species there are in decline and this is largely due to anthropogenic impacts. Plastic pollution in the world’s oceans has had a devastating impact on marine habitats and wildlife, and has now been observed in the Southern Ocean. This review aims to answer the question: What are the impacts of oceanic plastic pollutants on Procellariiformes and how does this impact the Southern Ocean region? Procellariiformes (Albatross, Shearwater and Petrel Species) are considered to be some of the most threatened species, and this is largely due to by-catch, entanglement and ingestion of marine debris. Plastic ingestion is the biggest threat, causing increased mortality of seabirds in this region. While the impacts to individual birds are well observed, the wider ecological impacts are less obvious. Understanding these wider impacts may give insight into how these birds are coping at a population level and provide knowledge to help guide management strategies and conservation.
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