Cormorant and Plastic, Bangalore

by Deepa Mohan
Deepa Mohan

Chosen as 'Picture of the Week'

Though this bird was lucky, the ingestion of plastic fragments poisons the animals due to the chemicals they contain. These then get transferred into the food web through the process of bioaccumulation. A recent report has documented over 180 species of animals ingesting plastic debris.

I photographed this Little Cormorant (Microcarbo niger) with a sheet of plastic in Puttenahalli Lake, Bangalore, on 9th June ’18 while out birdwatching. The bird did not seem entangled in it, so I was unable to understand what was happening. The incident ended in under a minute, with the cormorant suddenly swimming away. Was it looking for a fish under the plastic? Only my speculation!

Despite plastics being non‐biodegradable, most tourists to lakes, wetlands and our wildlife parks consume plastic products as single‐use items, after which they are discarded irresponsibly.

Though this bird was lucky, the ingestion of plastic fragments poisons the animals due to the chemicals they contain. These then get transferred into the food web through the process of bioaccumulation. A recent report has documented over 180 species of animals ingesting plastic debris.



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