25 June, 2009

The Dire Effects of Poor Waste Management on Land

My friend Reena has brought to my attention a case which has reaffirmed my dislike for seagulls. A new behaviour has been recorded with seagulls off the coast of Argentina which systematically feed off the back of migrating whales pecking into their blubber and flesh.
While the behaviour was first recorded some 30 years ago the seagulls attack seem to have escalated from 1% to 70% over that span of time.
Researchers believe that the increase in human waste on land has contributed to the exponential growth of seagulls population which in turn needs to look for additional sources of food.
A disturbing side effect of this is that with whale mothers and calves on their migratory route being the preferred target by seagulls, the adult whales are forced to spend 30% of their time to evade the pecking by the gulls. This has dire consequences as the mother whales, already tired and half starved due to their long journey have less time to feed themselves and tend to the young ones. This has resulted in an increasing number of dead whale calves which just adds up to the existing plight of these giant mammals of the oceans.
While I have never been much of a gulls friend it is interesting to see how, ultimately, their unusual and destructive behaviour is caused, ultimately, by yours dearly The Human Race.
So while scientists are debating if shooting the gulls may be a good way to solve the problem I say... start sorting out things on dry land first through better managed waste disposal along the coastal areas!

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