eCite Digital Repository

Seasonal ingestion of anthropogenic debris in an urban population of gulls


Stewart, LG and Lavers, JL and Grant, ML and Puskic, PS and Bond, AL, Seasonal ingestion of anthropogenic debris in an urban population of gulls, Marine Pollution Bulletin, 160 Article 111549. ISSN 0025-326X (2020) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2020 Pergamon-Elsevier Science Ltd

DOI: doi:10.1016/j.marpolbul.2020.111549


Gulls are generalist seabirds, increasingly drawn to urban environments where many species take advantage of abundant food sources, such as landfill sites. Despite this, data on items ingested at these locations, including human refuse, is limited. Here we investigate ingestion of prey and anthropogenic debris items in boluses (regurgitated pellets) from Pacific Gulls (Larus pacificus). A total of 374 boluses were collected between 2018 and 2020 in Tasmania. Debris was present in 92.51% of boluses (n = 346), with plastic (86.63%, n = 324) and glass (64.71%, n = 242) being the most prominent types. An abundance of intact, household items (e.g., dental floss, food wrappers) suggest the gulls regularly feed at landfill sites. In addition, the boluses are deposited at a roosting site located within an important wetland, thus we propose that the gulls may be functioning as a previously unrecognised vector of anthropogenic debris from urban centres to aquatic environments.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:marine debris, plastic pollution, seabird ecology, landfill, waste management, vector
Research Division:Biological Sciences
Research Group:Ecology
Research Field:Marine and estuarine ecology (incl. marine ichthyology)
Objective Division:Environmental Management
Objective Group:Terrestrial systems and management
Objective Field:Assessment and management of terrestrial ecosystems
UTAS Author:Stewart, LG (Miss Lillian Stewart)
UTAS Author:Lavers, JL (Dr Jennifer Lavers)
UTAS Author:Grant, ML (Miss Megan Grant)
UTAS Author:Puskic, PS (Mr Peter Puskic)
UTAS Author:Bond, AL (Dr Alexander Bond)
ID Code:140419
Year Published:2020
Web of Science® Times Cited:8
Deposited By:Ecology and Biodiversity
Deposited On:2020-08-17
Last Modified:2021-02-10

Repository Staff Only: item control page