The accumulation of microplastics in birds’ digestive systems could lead to poisoning, starvation and death.
A new study from the University of Central Florida has confirmed and quantified, for the first time, the presence of microplastics in terrestrial and aquatic birds of prey in Florida, including hawks, ospreys and owls.
Microplastics are small plastic pieces – less than the size of a pencil tip – that come from larger pieces of plastic, such as synthetic clothes, or that are made small for use in health and beauty products or industrial purposes.
The research, which was published online recently in the journal Environmental Pollution, is important because birds of prey are critical to a functioning ecosystem. The accumulation of microplastics in their digestive systems could lead to poisoning, starvation and death.
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