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Ingested plastics in beach-washed fairy prions Pachyptila turtur from Tasmania


Lavers, JL and de Jersey, AM and Jones, NR and Stewart, LG and Charlton-Howard, HS and Grant, ML and Woehler, EJ, Ingested plastics in beach-washed fairy prions Pachyptila turtur from Tasmania, Marine Pollution Bulletin, 184 Article 114096. ISSN 0025-326X (2022) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

2022 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

DOI: doi:10.1016/j.marpolbul.2022.114096


Plastic is an omnipresent pollutant in marine ecosystems and is widely documented to be ingested among seabird species. Procellariiformes are particularly vulnerable to plastic ingestion, which can cause internal damage, starvation, and occasionally mortality. In this study, 34 fledgling Fairy Prions (Pachyptila turtur) recovered during a wreck event in south-eastern Tasmania in 2022 were examined for ingested plastics and body condition (e.g., wing chord length). While many of the birds exhibited poor body condition, this was not correlated with the count or mass of ingested plastics. We hypothesise the marine heatwave event, and resulting lack of prey, contributed to bird body condition and subsequent mortality. We provide some of the first data on the size of individual plastic particles ingested by seabirds and make recommendations for future studies to report this important metric in a consistent manner that ensures data are comparable.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:marine debris, plastic pollution, mass mortality, wreck event, ocean warming, marine heatwave
Research Division:Biological Sciences
Research Group:Ecology
Research Field:Marine and estuarine ecology (incl. marine ichthyology)
Objective Division:Environmental Policy, Climate Change and Natural Hazards
Objective Group:Adaptation to climate change
Objective Field:Ecosystem adaptation to climate change
UTAS Author:Lavers, JL (Dr Jennifer Lavers)
UTAS Author:de Jersey, AM (Miss Alix de Jersey)
UTAS Author:Jones, NR (Mr Neville Robert Jones)
UTAS Author:Stewart, LG (Miss Lillian Stewart)
UTAS Author:Charlton-Howard, HS (Mrs Hayley Charlton)
UTAS Author:Grant, ML (Miss Megan Grant)
ID Code:153213
Year Published:2022
Deposited By:Ecology and Biodiversity
Deposited On:2022-09-14
Last Modified:2022-11-23

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