Dead bird found with plastic twine inside it

Dead bird found with plastic twine inside it
Dead guillemot with twine in its system. Pic by Liam Nash

Concerns have been raised at the possible impact of plastic on wildlife in Cork after a bird was found dead due to plastic consumption.

Liam Nash, who has lived near Schull in West Cork since 2006, found a dead guillemot which is a small bird that feeds mainly off small fish, caught by surface diving, near his house.

The images he captured clearly shows a multicoloured range of plastic twine in the birds system, which more than likely caused its death.

Guillemots are amber-listed in Ireland meaning they are of medium conservation concern due to majority of them breeding at less than ten sites.

“It really brings home the impact plastic has on wildlife, when you see it up close like that,” said Mr Nash, who is completing a PhD in Ecology and Environmental Science in London.

“I’ve never seen a bird like that but there is plastic on a lot of the beaches in west Cork, it is certainly an issue.

“There needs to be more research on the impact of plastic consumption in birds but certainly, once it gets into the food chain it’s hard to get out,” he added.

“A fish probably consumed the plastic before the bird ate the fish which shows how easy it is for plastic to get into and impact an ecosystem.

“There is a concern that it might only get worse, that we’re not taking enough action.

“It’s definitely something we should all be looking to tackle because plastic pollution is something we can all effect.

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