How does plastic pollution affect land animals?

How pollution affects animals and plants

Travelers have in their hands the power to protect animals in another way as well: by being very aware that the waste and garbage left behind after a day at the beach can end the lives of many living beings and make their habitat a place full of dangers.

Both when we are traveling and in our daily lives, the first step is to reduce the consumption of plastic bags and replace them with biodegradable bags. Likewise, we should get used to reusing containers, reject products wrapped in unnecessary plastic packaging and, above all, always pick up the waste we may find on our visits to beaches and other natural environments.

How plastic affects marine animals

The pollution of seas and oceans is a growing reality in these times and this has serious consequences for marine life, such as problems of disorientation, alterations in food chains, toxicity for marine wildlife, destruction of marine ecosystems and even ends up also having consequences for humans.In this article of EcologíaVerde we will see exclusively how water pollution affects marine animals, because it is necessary to become aware of the harm that this great environmental problem poses for everyone and not just for people.

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How pollution affects animals wikipedia

We have all seen heartbreaking images of how marine pollution affects, and even kills, marine animals. Sea creatures are the most affected by the waste we humans produce, however, it is not only sea creatures and seabirds that suffer the consequences of all this waste.

Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) has recently published some images of the devastating effect of human waste on terrestrial mammals. One photograph shows two dead deer on the Isle of Rum, a remote island off the west coast of Scotland, which were entangled together in a fishing net. Another image shows a deer with a rope and buoy caught in its antlers.

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Animals affected by plastic

A study published in the journal Science in 2015 by scientists at the U.S. National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis and the University of Georgia in Greece found that Asian nations were 13 of the top 20 contributors to the increase in ocean plastic waste, of which China tops the list of countries that worst manage plastic waste, although the United States is included among the top 20 most polluting contributors.

Plastic trash accumulates in areas of the ocean where winds create circular currents, known as gyres, which absorb any floating debris. There are five gyres around the world, but the best known is probably the North Pacific Gyre. A group of scientists determined that there is so much plastic debris in the world that it could cover a country like Argentina.

As the most revealing example, the shearwater (Ardenna carneipes), a large, ashy-plumaged bird that nests on islands in Australia and New Zealand, is the animal that ingests the highest ratio of plastic to body mass: researchers say that in a large population, 90% of the chicks have already swallowed some. If a plastic splinter punctures the intestine, the bird can die quickly. But usually plastic ingestion results in chronic and relentless malnutrition. The saddest thing is that they eat the plastic thinking it’s food,” says Matthew Savoca, a NOAA marine biologist.

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