Global assessment of marine plastic exposure risk for oceanic birds

Bethany L. Clark, Ana P.B. Carneiro, Elizabeth J. Pearmain, Marie-Morgane Rouyer, Thomas A. Clay, Win Cowger, Richard A. Phillips, Andrea Manica, Carolina Hazin, Markus Eriksen, Jacob González-Solís, Josh Adams, Yuri V. Albores-Barajas, Joanna Alfaro-Shigueto, Maria Saldanha Alho, Deusa Teixeira Araujo, José Manuel Arcos, John P. Y. Arnould, Nadito J. P. Barbosa, Christophe BarbraudAnnalea M. Beard, Jessie Beck, Elizabeth A. Bell, Della G. Bennet, Maud Berlincourt, Manuel Biscoito, Oskar Bjørnstad, Mark Bolton, Katherine A. Booth Jones, John J. Borg, Karen Bourgeois, Vincent Bretagnolle, Jöel Bried, James V. Briskie, M. de L. Brooke, Katherine C. Brownlie, Leandro Bugoni, Licia Calabrese, Letizia Campioni, Mark J. Carey, Ryan D. Carle, Nicolas Carlile, Ana R. Carreiro, Paulo Catry, Teresa Catry, Jacopo G. Cecere, Filipe R. Ceia, Yves Cherel, Chang-Yong Choi, Marco Cianchetti-Benedetti, Rohan H. Clarke, Jaimie B. Cleeland, Valentina Colodro, Bradley C. Congdon, Jóhannis Danielsen, Frederico De Pascalis, Zoe Deakin, Nina Dehnhard, Giacomo Dell'Omo, Karine DeLord, Sébastien Descamps, Ben J. Dilley, Herculano A. Dinis, Jerome Dubos, Brendon J. Dunphy, Louise M. Emmerson, Ana Isabel Fagundes, Annette L. Fayet, Jonathan J. Felis, Johannes H. Fischer, Amanda N. D. Freeman, Aymeric Fromant, Giorgia Gaibani, David García, Carina Gjerdrum, Ivandra Soeli Gonçalves Correia Gomes, Manuelo G. Forero, José P. Granadeiro, W. James Grecian, David Grémillet, Tim Guilford, Gunnar Thor Hallgrimsson, Luke R. Halpin, Erpur Snær Hansen, April Hedd, Morten Helberg, Hálfdan H. Helgason, Leeann M. Henry, Hannah F. R. Hereward, Marcus Hernandez-Montero, Mark Hindell, Peter J. Hodum, Simona Imperio, Audrey Jaeger, Mark Jessopp, Patrick G. R. Jodice, Carl G. Jones, Christopher W. Jones, Jón Einar Jónsson, Adam Kane, Sven Kapelj, Yuna Kim, Holly Kirk, Yann Kolbeinsson, Philipp L. Kraemer, Lucas Krüger, Paulo Lago, Todd J. Landers, Jennifer L. Lavers, Matthieu Le Corre, Andreia Leal, Maite Louzao, Jeremy Madeiros, Maria Magalhães, Mark L. Mallory, Juan F. Masello, Bruno Massa, Sakiko Matsumoto, Fiona McDuie, Laura McFarlane Tranquilla, Fernando Medrano, Benjamin J. Metzger, Teresa Militão, William A. Montevecchi, Rosalinda C. Montone, Leia Navarro-Herrero, Verónica Neves, David G. Nicholls, Malcolm A. C. Nicoll, Ken Norris, Steffen Oppel, Daniel Oro, Ellie Owen, Olivier Padget, Vitor H. Paiva, David Pala, Jorge M. Pereira, Clara Péron, Maria V. Petry, Admilton de Pina, Ariete T. Moreira Pina, Patrick Pinet, Pierre A. Pistorius, Ingrid L. Pollet, Benjamin J. Porter, Timothée A. Poupart, Christopher D. L. Powell, Carolina B. Proaño, Júlia Pujol-Casado, Petra Quillfeldt, John L. Quinn, Andre F. Raine, Helen Raine, Iván Ramírez, Jamie A. Ramos, Raül Ramos, Andreas Ravache, Matt J. Rayner, Timothy A. Reid, Gregory J. Robertson, Gerard J. Rocamora, Dominic P. Rollinson, Robert A. Ronconi, Andreu Rotger, Diego Rubolini, Kevin Ruhomaun, Asunción Ruiz, James C. Russel, Peter G. Ryan, Sarah Saldanha, Ana Sanz-Aguilar, Mariona Sardà-Serra, Yvan G. Satgé, Katsufumi Sato, Wiebke C. Schäfer, Stefan Schoombie, Scott A. Schaffer, Nirmal Shah, Akiko Shoji, Dave Shutler, Ingvar A. Sigurðsson, Mónica C. Silva, Allison E. Small, Cecilia Soldatini, Hallvard Strøm, Christopher A. Surman, Akinori Takahashi, Vikash R. V. Tatayah, Graeme A. Taylor, Robert J. Thomas, David R. Thompson, Paul M. Thompson, Thorkell L. Thórarinsson, Diego Vicente-Sastre, Eric Vidal, Ewan Wakefield, Susan W. Waugh, Henri Weimerskirch, Heiko U. Wittmer, Takashi Yamamoto, Ken Yoda, Carlos B. Zavalaga, Francis J. Zino, Maria P. Dias

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Abstract

Plastic pollution is distributed patchily around the world’s oceans. Likewise,
marine organisms that are vulnerable to plastic ingestion or entanglement
have uneven distributions. Understanding where wildlife encounters plastic is
crucial for targeting research and mitigation. Oceanic seabirds, particularly

petrels, frequently ingest plastic, are highly threatened, and cover vast dis-
tances during foraging and migration. However, the spatial overlap between

petrels and plastics is poorly understood. Here we combine marine plastic
density estimates with individual movement data for 7137 birds of 77 petrel
species to estimate relative exposure risk. We identify high exposure risk areas
in the Mediterranean and Black seas, and the northeast Pacific, northwest
Pacific, South Atlantic and southwest Indian oceans. Plastic exposure risk

varies greatly among species and populations, and between breeding and non-
breeding seasons. Exposure risk is disproportionately high for Threatened

species. Outside the Mediterranean and Black seas, exposure risk is highest in
the high seas and Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZs) of the USA, Japan, and the
UK. Birds generally had higher plastic exposure risk outside the EEZ of the
country where they breed. We identify conservation and research priorities,
and highlight that international collaboration is key to addressing the impacts
of marine plastic on wide-ranging species.
Original languageEnglish
Article number3665
Pages (from-to)1-14
Number of pages14
JournalNature Communications
Volume14
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2023

Keywords

  • plastic pollution
  • birds
  • oceanic birds
  • pollution
  • environment

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