Research examines the relationship between animal type and behaviour vis-a-vis the risk of plastic ingestion in garbage dumps
11 December 2018
Garbage accumulation around terrestrial nature re-serves poses a risk to many species.
We monitored animal visitation patterns and foraging behaviour at garbage dumps near a forested area in Uttarakhand Himalaya, India, to examine plastic consumption by animals. We recorded 32 species of birds and mam-mals visiting garbage dumps and classified them as ‘peckers’, ‘handlers’ and ‘gulpers’ based on their foraging behaviour. Gulpers (carnivores and rumi-nants) were observed feeding more frequently and spent longer durations (3.8 0.2 min) at garbage dumps. Our results highlight the importance of at-source segregation of waste to prevent wild and domestic animals from ingesting hazardous wastes, including plastics at garbage dumps.