Imperiled Freshwater Turtles Are Eating Plastics

60-Second Science


What happened is i started cutting open. These specimens that had been preserved sitting in the same collection for five or six years. And i just started took a dribble cut off. The shell opened up. You know looked at the stomach. Contents and i was shocked to find that in the ten animals that i looked at two of those animals had plastics in their stomach. Gregg polly's original plan was to compare the diets of western pond turtles. Native to the creeks of the uc davis meriem with those of redbeard sliders that have been introduced but that all changed when the herpetologist from the urban nature research center at the natural history museum of los angeles county began to look inside the sliders. And then suddenly. I thought oh man. There's a much bigger story here. Which is that. they're ingesting plastics. And we know almost nothing about plastic ingestion freshwater turtles we know. It's a huge issue marine turtles. But no one's looking at this and freshwater turtles. Plastic ingestion has been reported over and over again in each of the world's seven types of sea-turtles. But there is another three hundred and fifty two types of turtles and only five studies have ever concerned themselves with plastic ingestion in those species. That's despite the fact that more than half of all turtle species are considered threatened with extinction. Turtles are among the most imperilled groups of animals on earth freshwater turtles around the world are declining in. So you're not in a researchers aren't going out in euthanizing turtles and putting them into the museum collections on a regular basis. You know we do that for lots of other species but we're not people are going to be doing it fraternals because it's just not the right thing to do from a conservation perspective.

Coming up next