Home » INTERNATIONAL MARINE LITTER DATABASE » Plastic ingestion in aquatic-associated bird species in southern Portugal

Katy R. Nicastro, Roberto Lo Savio, Christopher D. McQuaid, Pedro Madeira, Ugo Valbusa, Fábia Azevedo, Maria Casero, Carla Lourenço,
Gerardo I. Zardi,

Plastic ingestion in aquatic-associated bird species in southern Portugal,

Marine Pollution Bulletin,Volume 126, 2018, Pages 413-418, ISSN 0025-326X,


Excessive use of plastics in daily life and the inappropriate
disposal of plastic products are severely affecting wildlife species in
both coastal and aquatic environments. Birds are top-predators, exposed
to all threats affecting their environments, making them ideal sentinel
organisms for monitoring ecosystems change. We set a baseline assessment
of the prevalence of marine plastic litter affecting multi-species
populations of aquatic birds in southern Portugal. By examining 160
stomach contents from 8 species of aquatic birds, we show that 22.5%
were affected by plastic debris. Plastic was found in Ciconia ciconia,
Larus fuscus and L. michahellis. Ciconia ciconia ingested the highest
amount (number of items and total mass) of plastic debris.
Polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS, silicones) was the most abundant polymer and
was recorded only in C. ciconia. Plastic ingestion baseline data are of
crucial importance to evaluate changes through time and among regions
and to define management and conservation strategies.




Plastic ingestion in aquatic-associated bird species in southern Portugal

22. September 2020