Author(s): Gray H, Lattin GL, Moore CJ
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Abstract Laysan Albatrosses (Phoebastria immutabilis) and Black-footed Albatrosses (P. nigripes) ingest plastic debris, as evidenced by studies showing plastic in the digestive contents of their chicks, but there is little documentation of the frequency and amount of ingested plastics carried in foraging adults. In this study, we quantify plastics among the digestive contents of 18 Laysan Albatrosses and 29 Black-footed Albatrosses collected as by-catch in the North Pacific Ocean. We found ingested plastic in 30 of the 47 birds examined, with Laysan Albatrosses exhibiting a greater frequency of plastic ingestion (83.3\% n=18) than Black-footed Albatrosses (51.7\% n=29) (X(2)=4.8, df=1, P=0.03). Though the mass of ingested plastic in both species (mean±SD=0.463g±1.447) was lower than previously noted among albatross chicks, the high frequency of ingested plastic we found in this study suggests that long-term effects, e.g. absorption of contaminants from plastics, may be of concern throughout the population. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
This article was published in Mar Pollut Bull
and referenced in Journal of Pollution Effects & Control