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The effect of ingested plastic on the short-tailed shearwater and what measures NGOs can take to minimalize these effects

The effect of ingested plastic on the short-tailed shearwater and what measures NGOs can take to minimalize these effects

Samenvatting

Plastic pollution has increased over the years and this affects especially seabirds which are vulnerable to this type of pollution. A species that is used as indicator species for plastic pollution is the short-tailed shearwater (Ardenna tenuirostris). These seabirds belong to the procellariids group and are particularly impacted by plastic ingestion due to their limited ability to regurgitate. There was still little knowledge on the effect of plastic ingestion on the short-tailed shearwater. NGOs are concerning themselves with the plastic pollution which are affecting these seabirds. The aim of the research was to answer the research question ‘’Whatis the effect of ingested plastic on the physical conditions of the short-tailed shearwater and what measures can NGOs take to minimalize the effects of ingested plastic on the short-tailed shearwater?’’. To answer the research question a combination of literature review and interviews with experts was used. The results showed that the effect of ingested plastic on the short-tailed shearwater include blockage of the intestines and digestive enzymes, ulcerations as well as disruption of the endocrine system through chemical exposure in ingested plastic. The short-tailed shearwater chicks are more vulnerable to these effect due to their inability to regurgitate the ingested plastic fed by the adults. Small NGOs overall do not focus their measures on specific bird species such as the shorttailed shearwater. If small NGOs were to take measures on the ingestion of plastic by the short-tailed shearwater they should focus on banning consumer plastic as a top-down measure combined with bottom-up clean-up actions around the breeding grounds after the ban is implemented. The most suitable measures for NGOs to reduce plastic pollution overall are to stimulate the development of circular waste economy and to keep engaging peoplewith bottom-up measures such as clean-up actions.

Toon meer
OrganisatieVan Hall Larenstein
AfdelingKust en Zee Management
Datum2020-02-01
TypeBachelor
TaalEngels

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