Microplastic in Excreta and Nesting Grounds of the Humboldt Penguin (Spheniscus humboldti) along the Chilean Coast

12 Oct 2020 Pan de Azúcar Island, Chile, Central and Latin America Birds | Marine

Winfred Eliezer Espejo Contreras

The main aim of this project is to research the occurrence of microplastics in humboldt penguin colonies. The Humboldt Penguin is an endemic species of the Chilean coast that nests relatively close to urban areas.


Microplastics are of global concern because of their threat to wildlife. Humboldt penguins are seabirds that only inhabit the coasts of Chile and southern Peru. They are vulnerable species and showing population decline. Plastics are not yet been studied as a possible threat on Humboldt penguins, we will determine the microplastics in excreta and soils around the nesting areas from some important colonies. The microplastics will be extracted, quantified, and photographed in 3D. It will be the first report of microplastics related to this iconic species, and data will help to promote control plans on the use of plastics worldwide.

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