how many birds die from pollution

You might think that life in the skies would make birds safe from the dangers of plastic. Think again.

The sheer scale of global plastic production means that no species is beyond its reaches, and if we allow things to continue as they are the situation is only going to get worse.

In Australia alone we manufacture almost 3 million tonnes of plastic every year, but only recycle 12%. So how exactly does all this waste this affect birds?

Case Study: Midway Atoll

A ring-shaped reef, island, or chain of islands made up of coral is called an atoll. One of the world’s oldest atolls, Midway Atoll is situated at the far north end of the Hawaiian archipelago. Aside from being the site of the renowned battle at Midway and its use as a naval base during World War II, Midway Atoll is home to the largest albatross colony in the world. The three small islands of Midway Atoll are home to almost 3 million nesting birds annually. Even though Midway Atoll is over 2,000 miles away from the closest continent, it suffers from a serious plastic pollution issue. The U. S. According to the Fish and Wildlife Service, over 100 pounds of plastic are washed up each week. Every year, about one-third of albatross chicks perish as a result of consuming plastic. Brightly colored plastic fragments are mistaken for prey by adults, who then feed them to their chicks. Many of the chicks perish because they are unable to regurgitate the plastic fragments. Plastic has a terrible impact on albatrosses and other seabirds’ survival, even in such a remote place. It is critical to acknowledge that the effects of our actions are global and to take action to lessen those effects.

How many birds die from plastic?

Because the presence of plastic in the ocean has attracted a lot of media attention, studies on seabirds provide a large portion of the data regarding birds and plastic.

The number of seabirds dying as a result of plastic is currently estimated at 1 million a year. This shocking statistic becomes even more worrying when we consider just how quickly this problem has grown. Fewer than 5% of seabirds studied in 1960 were found to have plastic in their stomachs, but this number had rocketed to 80% in 1980.

Based on this research, and contemporary studies, its expected that by 2050 99% of all seabird species will be ingesting plastic. Along with entanglement, this is one of the leading causes of plastic-related deaths among birds. 90% of seabirds around the world eat plastic annually

How do birds die from plastic entanglement?

Entanglement is another frequent way that plastic kills birds.

By this we mean birds getting stuck in plastic waste and, with 8 million tonnes of plastic entering the worlds oceans every year, avoiding this fate is becoming more and more difficult.

One of the worst offenders when it comes to ensnaring marine life is abandoned fishing gear. In Queensland alone its estimated that 35 traps are lost per boat per year for blue swimmer crab fishing alone, and around the world 27% of all marine litter consists of lost nets, lines and traps. This discarded equipment continues to catch wildlife in a phenomenon that has come to be known as ghost fishing.

Data for the exact number of seabirds caught in this way is patchy, but some reports estimate that one-fifth off all seabird species are affected by entanglement or ingestion of marine debris.


How many birds are killed by pollution?

Each and every year, hundreds of thousands of seabirds ingest plastic. An estimated one million birds die as a result of plastic every year.

How many birds die from light pollution a year?

But it makes most migratory birds highly susceptible to light pollution. In North America alone, it is estimated that up to 1 billion migrating birds die each year from collisions with buildings.

Do birds die from air pollution?

Ground-level ozone (O3) and nitrogen oxides (NOx), two of the most common air pollutants in California, are powerful oxidants that can cause direct, irreversible damage to birds’ lungs. Long-term exposure can lead to inflammation, ruptured blood vessels, and lung failure.

What is the leading cause of death of birds?

Domesticated and feral cats kill between 1.4 and 3.7 billion birds every year in the US. Other major causes of bird deaths are disease snd collisions with manmade structures such as windows, powerlines and windmills.