Oriental Pied Hornbills picking trash

posted in: Illegal-Irresponsible, Videography | 0
Oriental Pied Hornbill picking trash
Oriental Pied Hornbill picking trash

Kwan Hun’s video shows a pair of Oriental Pied Hornbills (Anthracoceros albirostris) picking trash in the Pasir Ris mangrove (below).

Rubbish, especially pieces of plastic and fabric, can cause serious harm to birds that swallow them. They may accidentally swallow small pieces or intentionally swallow them thinking they are food. Once these materials end up in the stomach of the birds, they can eventually cause death.

Most seabirds regularly swallow all types of plastic HERE and HERE. Now we are seeing a non-seabird, in this case hornbills, that are facing possible death due to eating plastic or fabric.

Sungei Buloh mangrove - picture taken in August 1991
Sungei Buloh mangrove – picture taken in August 1991

Mangroves in this region have always been used as a dumping ground (above, below). Note that these images were taken by YC Wee during the late 1990s before the areas were developed. And during high tide more rubbish is brought by the rising water to get permanently lodged between the mangrove roots.

Punggol-Serangoon mangrove. Picture taken on April 1983
Punggol-Serangoon mangrove. Picture taken on April 1983

Despite our yearly International Coastal Cleanup, our mangroves are still far from free of trash. There is a need to spread the message of the danger to our avian fauna of dumping trash into the sea.

People should show more civic-mindedness and dispose of their trash responsibly.

Kwan Hun & YC Wee
Singapore
9th December 2016

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