Examining the Effects of Plastic Pollution on Species

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Examining the Effects of Plastic Pollution on Species

Examining the Effects of Plastic Pollution on Species

Recently, the effects of plastic pollution on freshwater aquatic, terrestrial and avian migratory species were investigated.

The study is the result of collaboration between the Conservation of Migratory Species (CMS) and the United Nations Environment Programme. The study is a part of the Japan-funded Counter Measuring (MEASURES) project. The counter measure aims to identify the sources and routes of plastic pollution in Asia’s river systems.

This study identifies the effects of plastic pollution on land and freshwater migratory species protected by the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals.

Key Findings:

  • The study found that 53 million tonnes of plastic could enter aquatic systems annually by 2030. This may eventually increase to 90 million tonnes.
  • The study covers case studies of Ganges and Irrawaddy dolphins, dugong or sea cow, Asian elephants and various avian species that were adversely affected.

The major threats revealed by the study include-

  • Trapping in plastic waste, such as fishing nets; Ingestion of plastics that affect the food chain; Space depletion and disruption to species living at the air-water interface due to plastic waste.
  • Migratory birds such as the Black-faced spoonbill and Osprey Packs have been observed to build nests out of plastic, often resulting in their chicks becoming entangled.

About CMS or Bonn Convention, 1979

  • It is a United Nations environmental treaty to promote cooperation and action for species and habitat conservation.
  • The species are listed in ‘Appendix I and II’ based on their need for conservation.
  • Appendix-I contains species that are in danger of extinction.
  • Appendix II lists species that would benefit from international cooperation for their conservation.

Source – PIB

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