Volume 46, No. 2

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Minimal plastic in flesh-footed shearwater Ardenna carneipes burrows at southwestern Australia colonies


1University of Western Australia, Centre of Excellence in Natural Resource Management, 35 Stirling Terrace, Albany WA 6330, Australia
2Conservation Council (WA), 2 Delhi Street, West Perth, Western Australia 6005


PATERSON, H.L. & DUNLOP, J.N. 2018. Minimal plastic in flesh-footed shearwater Ardenna carneipes burrows at southwestern Australia colonies. Marine Ornithology 46: 165 - 167

Received 8 March 2018, accepted 23 July 2018

Date Published: 2018/10/15
Date Online: 2018/8/30
Ardenna carneipes, southern Western Australia, plastics, burrows, Flesh-footed Shearwater


Flesh-footed Shearwaters Ardenna carneipes are declining globally, and exposure to plastic pollution may be a contributing factor. To investigate the exposure of the southwestern Australian population to plastic, under the assumption that fragments would be defecated by burrow occupants or occasionally spilled as parents regurgitate food to their young, sand samples were collected from nesting burrows from Shelter and Breaksea islands and examined for plastic fragments. One fragment was found among a total of 67 burrows inspected. The lack of plastics may be due to the feeding habits of these birds, or the availability of plastics related to local oceanography. Our study provides evidence that plastics may not yet be an issue for nesting Flesh-footed Shearwaters on the south coast of Western Australia.


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