Polluted Penguin Poop

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.

According to Belgian scientists, the Antarctic environment’s pollutant levels are rising faster than expected. The pollutants are being found in the soil left from penguin guano (read: poop) and carcasses. It seems that the penguins are being exposed indirectly from eating contaminated fish which were somehow tainted by something else.

“Bioaccumulation means that the penguins have high levels of contaminants in their bodies”

– Adrian Covaci at the University of Antwerp, Belgium

Not sure why there’s a picture of Magellanics
since they were studying Adelies. Oh well.

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Filed under Animals, News, Penguin

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