Plastic Paradise

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by tater2000
Last updated 5 years ago

Discipline:
Science
Subject:
Ecology

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Plastic Paradise

Plastic Paradise

Effects of Plastic on Seabirds

Many birds feed on plastic floating in the water because they mistake it for food pellets. These pieces of plastic can soak up toxic chemicals such as PCB's and DDT. These toxins are released as the pieces of plastic are digested. The chemicals will gradually build up in body tissue causing serious damage on the birds' reproductive ability, immune system and hormone balance.

Sources: "International Bird Rescue." Our Work Research and Education How Plastics Affect Birds. International Bird Rescue, 2015. Web. 27 Sept. 2015. “BirdLife International.” Seabirds suffer from eating "junk.” Presented as part of the BirdLife State of the world's birds website, 2008. Web. 27 Sept. 2015 "Laysan Albatrosses' Plastic Problem." Smithsonian Ocean Portal. N.p., n.d. Web. 27 Sept. 2015. <http://ocean.si.edu/slideshow/laysan-albatrosses%E2%80%99-plastic-problem>."Nearly Every Seabird on Earth Is Eating Plastic." National Geographic. National Geographic Society, n.d. Web. 27 Sept. 2015.

Tons of plastic is found along the shorelines, floating in the ocean and built up on islands. Plastic cause's death and diseases on many ocean animals, among them are birds. Birds are generally affected by plastic through entanglement and ingestion

Not only does plastic affect the bird that eats it, but it also affects their young. Adult birds typically regurgitate the plastic, passing it on to their chicks while feeding them. Chicks are unable to regurgitate the plastic allowing the plastic to fill their stomachs.

Large debris of plastic, such as water bottles, bags and packaging, often lead to entanglement and strangulation. Fishing gear is especially dangerous because the hooks, lines and nets can wrap around a birds wings and legs.

Ingestion of plastic debris can block and damage a bird's digestive system. Plastic takes forever to breakdown so it just sits in the stomach and pieces of plastic continuously fill up the bird's stomach making them feel full. This creates lack of proper nutrition and food which leads to starvation and malnutrition. Ingested pieces of plastic can be sharp and puncture the bird's organs which lead to death.

many large pieces of plastic that wash up on shores have peck marks from birds

90% of seabirds ingest plastic

a dead bird's body will breakdown before the plastic in its stomach

the stomach contents of a dead seabird most often contain plastic


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