The health of wildlife can be affected by the ingestion of non-edible, anthropogenic debris that mimic prey. First evidence of localized, massive ingestion of rubber bands is provided for an earthworm consumer, the White Stork (Ciconia ciconia), using nest contents and necropsies recorded in France. In 2003–2004, the prevalence of rubber bands and other debris in nests (N = 227) differed between the nine regions analyzed and decreased as distance from the nearest rubbish dump (distRD) increased. Hence, ingestion of rubber bands would occur only at some rubbish dumps. Nests with rubber bands contained 6.5 ± 2.5 units (max: 27; independent of distRD). The number of chicks was not related to the presence/absence of rubber bands in their nest. In 2008–2010, 26% of necropsied storks (N = 57: Alsace region) had rubber bands in their digestive tract. Seven instances of death due to gut occlusion by rubber bands are reported. Immature birds may be more exposed to rubber band ingestion than adults because of their lower ability at discriminating and regurgitating non-edible items, as well as their higher frequentation of rubbish dumps. The disposal of used rubber bands in a form that prevents ingestion by earthworm consumers is recommended.
You have requested a machine translation of selected content from our databases. This functionality is provided solely for your convenience and is in no way intended to replace human translation. Neither BioOne nor the owners and publishers of the content make, and they explicitly disclaim, any express or implied representations or warranties of any kind, including, without limitation, representations and warranties as to the functionality of the translation feature or the accuracy or completeness of the translations.
Translations are not retained in our system. Your use of this feature and the translations is subject to all use restrictions contained in the Terms and Conditions of Use of the BioOne website.
Vol. 34 • No. 4