Marine debris is selected as nesting material by the brown booby (Sula leucogaster) within the Swain Reefs, Great Barrier Reef, Australia

K. M. Verlis, M. L. Campbell, S. P. Wilson*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

38 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Many seabirds are impacted by marine debris through its presence in foraging and nesting areas. To determine the extent of this problem, marine debris use in nest material of the brown booby (Sula leucogaster) in the Great Barrier Reef, Australia, was investigated. Nine cays were examined using beach and nest surveys. On average, four marine debris items were found per nest (n= 96) with 58.3% of surveyed nests containing marine debris. The source of marine debris in nests and transects were primarily oceanic. Hard plastic items dominated both nest (56.8%) and surveyed beaches (72.8%), however only two item types were significantly correlated between these surveys. Nest surveys indicated higher levels of black and green items compared to beach transects. This selectivity for colours and items suggest these nests are not good indicators of environmental loads. This is the first study to examine S. leucogaster nests for marine debris in this location.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)180-190
Number of pages11
JournalMarine Pollution Bulletin
Volume87
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 15 Oct 2014
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Beach survey
  • Environmental indicator
  • Plastic pollution
  • Seabird
  • Threat

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Marine debris is selected as nesting material by the brown booby (Sula leucogaster) within the Swain Reefs, Great Barrier Reef, Australia'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this