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[greenyes] Feeding Bird Garbage


IQALUIT - Scientists are starting to find a
"disconcerting" amount of plastic garbage inside the
digestive systems of marine birds in Canada's high
arctic.

One in five northern fulmars examined by the service
this year had eaten bits of plastic of various shapes
and sizes.

Fulmars are seabirds that look like gulls and feed in
the open ocean. Researchers believe the birds could be
mistaking the garbage for light-coloured food such as
squid or pieces of fish and seal.

"This is the first time that anyone has reported this
in Arctic Canada in seabirds," said Mark Mallory, a
seabird biologist with the Canadian Wildlife Service
in Nunavut. "It's quite disconcerting."

Poking through a clear plastic bag full of objects
removed from northern fulmars, he said: "I've got a
BandAid, there's a liner from a bottle top, several
piece of white garbage that looks like the lid of a
coffee cup and bits of hard plastic like you might see
in a toy."

Mallory said the garbage could be coming from two
sources: communities in the north and north-bound
currents of the ocean bringing trash from more
southern waters.

Iqaluit Mayor Elisapee Sheutiapik said she's appalled
by the findings, and by the trash that keeps showing
up on the streets of her community.

"It's all over and I think we have to be more
responsible and whenever you see garbage to pick it
up," she said.

"We have to remember the animals. They're obviously
eating this garbage."

Written by CBC News Online staff
http://www.cbc.ca/story/science/national/2004/11/04/plastic_seabirds041104.html

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