Seagull and garbage

I have had a lot of contact with gull colonies over the years and am
constantly amazed at the types of things found amongst the detritus of the
breeding areas. Sea and shorebird colonies are never for the squeamish as
there is always an enormous amount of death but what we frequently note is
the large number of dead and dying adults and fledged juveniles. Most are
suffering botulism or a range of bacterial infections which are likely to
have come from the refuse dumps. The tern colonies have similar death rates
amongst chicks but not the adults. Plastic, particularly the broken down
small particles and a significant problem but some of the pathogens coming
out of our landfill is equally if not more concerning for the health of all

Chris Lloyd

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