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?
- Gravitational Waves? Watch the LIGO press conference at 10:30 Eastern.
- My Thoughts On The LIGO-VIRGO Result
- Henri Poincaré Predicted The Existence Of Gravitational Waves As Early As June 5, 1905
- Giddings: The 750 GeV Diphoton Resonance Is A Graviton
- The 10 catastrophic mistakes virtual reality firms are making
- LIGO, Gravitational Waves, And Laser Interferometry
- The Neuroscience Of Seeking Company
- "LIGO has confirmed gravity waves move at light speed, ending a long argument. Also LIGO has found..."
- "YES! I agree. it's a limited novelty with less toy value because it's dehumanized and you're just..."
- "Poincaré had been working for years on electromagnetism, where he had even used as early as 1900..."
- "Hi Ervin,true that. It's just that I feel a bit disappointed by the fact that the press releases..."
- "Hi Sven,I agree, the talk (at least - the one I heard) was totally unlike those one expects in..."
- Natural Flavors Are More Radioactive Than Artificial Ones.
- Bariatric Surgery Beneficial Even for Older People
- Opiates No Better at Easing Knee Osteoarthritis Pain
- BRCA Tests Increasing for Younger Breast Cancer Patients
- EWG Verified: A New Way To Greenmail Food Companies
- A Cluttered Kitchen May Undo Your Diet
- 'Jaws' may help humans grow new teeth, shark study suggests
- For a special Valentine? Beyond diamonds and gems: The world's rarest minerals
- Most precise measurement of reactor Antineutrino spectrum reveals intriguing surprise
- Using stories to teach human values to artificial agents
- A new form of frozen water?