Plastic ingestion by four seabird species in the Canadian Arctic: Comparisons across species and time

Date of publication 17 August 2020

Authors Baak, Julia E.; Provencher, Jennifer F.; Mallory, Mark L.

Sources Marine pollution bulletin : 158



Plastic pollution ingestion by seabirds is an increasing environmental problem even in remote areas such as the Arctic, yet knowledge on plastic pollution ingestion by several Arctic seabirds is limited, making it difficult to assess trends. We examined plastic pollution ingestion by northern fulmars (Fulmarus glacialis), black-legged kittiwakes (Rissa tridactyla), thick-billed murres (Uria lomvia) and black guillemots (Cepphus grylle) in the Canadian Arctic to assess species-specific and temporal differences in plastic ingestion over ten years. Seventy-two percent of fulmars and 15% of kittiwakes ingested plastic, while guillemots and murres did not. The number and mass of plastic ingested by fulmars decreased between the two periods (2008 and 2018), but the frequency of occurrence of plastic ingestion did not change, although sample sizes were less than ideal. Future research with larger samples is recommended to reinforce these trends in plastic ingestion by Arctic seabirds.

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