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Mortality of a juvenile Magellanic penguin (Spheniscus magellanicus, Spheniscidae) associated with the ingestion of a PFF-2 protective mask during the Covid-19 pandemic

Gallo Neto, H; Gomes Bantel, C; Browning, J; Della Fina, N; Albuquerque Ballabio, T; Teles de Santana, F; de Karam e Britto, M; (2021) Mortality of a juvenile Magellanic penguin (Spheniscus magellanicus, Spheniscidae) associated with the ingestion of a PFF-2 protective mask during the Covid-19 pandemic. Marine Pollution Bulletin , 166 , Article 112232. 10.1016/j.marpolbul.2021.112232.

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Abstract

We report the discovery of a dead Magellanic penguin (Spheniscus magellanicus) found on Juquehy Beach (23°46′S 45°44′W), municipality of São Sebastião, Brazil, on September 9th 2020. Following necropsy, we noted the presence of an adult size PFF-2 protective mask within the stomach of the penguin which we inferred as the cause of death. As far as we are aware, this is the first recorded instance of marine animal mortality by protective face mask ingestion. Whilst concerns have been raised relating microplastic contamination in marine environments from Covid-19 related waste, there has been relatively less attention paid to the potential risk of macro-scale contaminants, such as protective face coverings. We suggest that Covid-19 related macro contaminants be considered in coastal marine risk assessments and urge further research on this topic.

Type: Article
Title: Mortality of a juvenile Magellanic penguin (Spheniscus magellanicus, Spheniscidae) associated with the ingestion of a PFF-2 protective mask during the Covid-19 pandemic
DOI: 10.1016/j.marpolbul.2021.112232
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.marpolbul.2021.112232
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: Marine litter, Coastal Brazil, Argonauta institute, Covid-19, Magellanic penguins, Protective masks
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences > Dept of Earth Sciences
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10124318
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