eCite Digital Repository

Monitoring nest incorporation of anthropogenic debris by northern gannets across their range

Citation

O'Hanlon, NJ and Bond, AL and Lavers, JL and Masden, EA and James, NA, Monitoring nest incorporation of anthropogenic debris by northern gannets across their range, Environmental Pollution, 255, (Part 1) Article 113152. ISSN 0269-7491 (2019) [Refereed Article]


Preview
PDF (final published paper)
Pending copyright assessment - Request a copy
1Mb

Preview
PDF (author version - OA)
Pending copyright assessment - Request a copy
3Mb

DOI: doi:10.1016/j.envpol.2019.113152

Abstract

Anthropogenic marine debris is a recognised global issue, which can impact a wide range of organisms. This has led to a rise in research focused on plastic ingestion, but quantitative data on entanglement are still limited, especially regarding seabirds, due to challenges associated with monitoring entanglement in the marine environment. However, for seabird species that build substantial surface nests there is the opportunity to monitor nest incorporation of debris that individuals collect as nesting material. Here, we monitored nest incorporation of anthropogenic marine debris by Northern Gannets (Morus bassanus) from 29 colonies across the species' range to determine a) the frequency of occurrence of incorporated debris and b) whether the Northern Gannet is a suitable indicator species for monitoring anthropogenic debris in the marine environment within their range. Using data obtained from visual observations, digital photography and published literature, we recorded incorporated debris in 46% of 7280 Northern Gannet nests, from all but one of 29 colonies monitored. Significant spatial variation was observed in the frequency of occurrence of debris incorporated into nests among colonies, partly attributed to when the colony was established and local fishing intensity. Threadlike plastics, most likely from fishing activities, was most frequently recorded in nests, being present in 45% of 5842 nests, in colonies where debris type was identified. Comparisons with local beach debris indicate a preference for threadlike plastics by Northern Gannets. Recording debris in gannet nests provides an efficient and non-invasive method for monitoring the effectiveness of actions introduced to reduce debris pollution from fishing activities in the marine environment.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:marine debris, plastic pollution, seabird ecology, nest debris, entanglement, Sulidae, sentinel species
Research Division:Environmental Sciences
Research Group:Environmental Science and Management
Research Field:Environmental Monitoring
Objective Division:Environment
Objective Group:Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity
Objective Field:Marine Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity
UTAS Author:Bond, AL (Dr Alexander Bond)
UTAS Author:Lavers, JL (Dr Jennifer Lavers)
ID Code:134847
Year Published:2019
Deposited By:Ecology and Biodiversity
Deposited On:2019-09-09
Last Modified:2019-09-23
Downloads:0

Repository Staff Only: item control page