Penguin guano in the Antarctic is adding to organic pollutant problems there, according to a report to be featured in a Royal Society of Chemistry publication.
Adrian Covaci at the University of Antwerp, Belgium, and colleagues found unexpectedly high levels of organic pollutants in the soil around a colony of non-migratory Adelie penguins in the Antarctic.
Concerns about organic pollutant levels in the Antarctic have led to intensive studies into how they reach this remote region, said Covaci. The pollutants originate from man-made sources such as organochlorine pesticides and brominated flame retardants, he explained. The routes through which they normally travel are air and ocean currents. Recent studies have shown that migrating birds can also transport organic pollutants to the Antarctic in their body tissues, added Covaci.
Covaci’s study shows that non-migratory penguins are also redistributing organic contaminants on a local scale, resulting in levels 10 to 100 fold higher than expected in the soil around their colonies.
Covaci suggests that penguins are initially exposed to the contaminants by eating polluted fish, which have been contaminated through the food chain. Bioaccumulation means that the penguins have high levels of contaminants in their bodies.
The soil around the colony is then contaminated by penguin guano and carcasses.
Source: Penguin colonies as secondary sources of contamination with persistent organic pollutants
- PHYSICAL SCIENCES
- EARTH SCIENCES
- LIFE SCIENCES
- SOCIAL SCIENCES
Subscribe to the newsletter
Stay in touch with the scientific world!
Know Science And Want To Write?
- Suggestion: The EM Drive Is Getting The Appropriate Level Of Attention From The Science Community
- It's Naive To Pretend Differences Between Women And Men Are Just Genetics
- Bang! Meet The Highest-Energy Hadron Collision Ever Imaged!
- Will Aspartame Critics Now Be Less Bitter?
- GMOs Have Formaldehyde? Bizarre Claim Challenged By Experts
- Bees: Activists Remain Silent While This Pollinator Killer Decimates Millions
- (Well)-Paid PhD Position In Physics Offered In Padova, Italy
- "I just wonder if this EM device could be in some way interacting with space itself? I mean there..."
- "Hints are not evidence...Only ghosts in the shell...431..."
- "Hi Tomasso. Yes, I agree with you. But perhaps I will making some posts on statistics at my blog..."
- "Hi Amarashiki,you point to several issues, not one... I did treat some of them in the past in this..."
- "I haven't been there long enough to receive funding from anyone, but I can tell you 99.9% of our..."