New research shows that 3 million short-tailed shearwaters died in the past years, with evidence of the cause of death, meanwhile the evidence suggests that the cause of death is Human involvement and the 2012 Harve submarine eruption. Let’s have a look at the sea birds. Sea birds are widely considered to be the indicators of the health of a marine ecosystem. In 2013, Australia’s national science agency examined the massive death of millions of shearwater birds with the evidence.
It is discovered that the seabirds were starving and they started to eat “non-food materials” including plastic and floating pumice stones. Because of this, the team of experts believes this is an indication of larger health issues for the surrounding marine ecosystem. As per the reports, 172 dead seabirds were found on beaches along New South Wales and Queensland coast conduct further research into this mass mortality event (MME). The Researcher’s team found that 96.7% of birds ate pumice or plastic.
Scientists also studied the 2013 short-tailed shearwaters migration from Australia to the North Pacific, and return later in the year. By using satellite systems, experts were able to correlate that their migration crossed paths with the pumice raft produced by the 2012 Harve submarine eruption in the Kermadec arc north of New Zealand. Pumice is made up of a combination of high-temperature and highly pressurized lava or molten rocks that are violently ejected from the volcano. However, then it creates an unusual foamy configuration due to the simultaneous quick cooling and depressurization resulting in creating bubbles in the lava.
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After a long, the shearwaters headed back to Australia from their migration period from the north pacific, with the floating pumice from the Harve eruption along with their flight path. And this also included the chemical composition of the pumice found in the bird guts, matching the lava of the Havre seamount. Even the animals ate the small pebbles of pumice and died within 12-41 hours.
It is theoretically said that because the shearwaters were starving as they visceral ate the pumice pebbles which theorizes additional environmental issues as a result of the MME. The MMEs could indicate the changing of food webs and ecological conditions. And the conclusion provided by the researcher’s shows that a combination of climate change, marine pollution, and over-exploitation of the resources by humans were major contributors impacting the quality of life of marine animals.