The effects of COVID-19 litter on animal life

the online -updated- table

Auke-Florian Hiemstra, Liselotte Rambonnet, Barbara Gravendeel, Menno Schilthuizen

Corresponding author: aukeflorian.hiemstra@naturalis.nl

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is massively used, resulting in a new wave of litter: protective face masks and gloves. These products that are designed to keep us safe, are actually harming animals around us. Here we present the first overview of all cases of entanglement, entrapment, and ingestion of COVID-19 litter, as well as the inclusion of gloves and face masks in bird nests. If you find any new interactions online or observe them yourself, please share your observation below.

Read our paper

Photo of animals entangled in covid litter

Share your (online) observation!

Nature photographers, wildlife rescue centers, litter pickers, google detectives and social media heroes, we encourage everyone to share observations of animals interacting with PPE litter like entanglement, ingestion, entrapment, carrying PPE litter, playing with it or using it as nesting material. Feel free to add your own observations or add new examples - from your local or national news, or social media - that are currently missing in the global overview. Let us know!

Share your observations!

Date of observation

Date of online report

Country

Species name

PPE item

Observation

Observer or reporter

1

10-04-2020

23-04-2020

Canada

American robin (Turdus migratorius)

Face mask

Entangled

Sandra Denisuk

2

Unknown

14-04-2020

Poland

Sparrow sp. (Passer sp.)

Gloves

Nest material

Marta Szulkin

3

Unknown

11-05-2020

U.S.A.

Cat (Felis catus)

Glove

Ingested

ACCT Philly and Art City Vets & Urgent Care

4

03-06-2020

This paper

The Netherlands

Common coot (Fulica atra)

Face mask

Nest material

Marieke Elzinga

5

18-06-2020

This overview

Germany

White tailed eagle (Haliaeetus albicilla)

Face mask

Entangled

Volker Hastädt & Karsten Matschei & Bela Bartel

6

Unknown

01-07-2020

France

Common octopus (Octopus vulgaris)

Face mask

Other: hiding 

Opération Mer Propre

7

19-07-2020

19-07-2020

U.K.

Gull sp. (Laridae sp.)

Face mask

Entangled

RSPCA Essex South

8

19-07-2020

24-07-2020

U.K.

Peregrine Falcon (Falco peregrinus)

Face mask

Entangled

Steve Shiley

9

Unknown

22-07-2020

U.K.

Red fox (Vulpes vulpes)

Face mask

Entangled

South Essex Wildlife Hospital

10

Unknown

22-07-2020

U.K.

European hedgehog (Erinaceus europaeus)

Glove

Entangled

South Essex Wildlife Hospital

11

31-07-2020

31-07-2020

U.S.A.

Checkered pufferfish (Sphoeroides testudineus)

Face mask

Entangled

Tiffany Menichetti (Clean this beach up)

12

02-08-2020

This paper

The Netherlands

Perch (Perca fluviatilis)

Glove

Entrapped

Brandon Hartley and Marie

Diamond (Plastic Spotter)

13

24-07-2020

05-08-2020

U.S.A.

Dog (Canis lupus familiaris)

Face mask

Ingested

Animal Rescue League of Boston

14

Unknown

07-08-2020

U.K.

Gull sp. (Laridae sp.)

Face mask

Carrying

Roger Lovell

15

11-08-2020

11-08-2020

U.K.

Gull sp. (Laridae sp.)

Face mask

Carrying

Leon Neal

16

11-08-2020

11-08-2020

U.K.

Gull sp. (Laridae sp.)

Face mask

Carrying

Peter Nicholls

17

31-08-2020

01-09-2020

U.K.

Gull sp. (Laridae sp.)

Face Mask

Carrying

Nicholas Hayman

18

Unknown

05-09-2020

U.K.

Dog (Canis lupus familiaris)

Face mask

Ingested

University of Glasgow’s small animal hospital

19

06-09-2020

This paper

The Netherlands

Common coot (Fulica atra)

Face mask and glove

Nest material

Auke-Florian Hiemstra and Liselotte Rambonnet

20

Unknown

14-09-2020

Italy

Mute swan (Cygnus olor)

Face mask

Other: playing

Paolo Nicolai

21

Unknown

20-09-2020

Italy

Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos)

Face mask

Entangled

Jacopo Casali

21

Unknown

23-08-2020

Unknown, possibly North-America

Eastern chipmunk (Tamias striatus)

Face mask

Other: unknown

Unknown

23

23-09-2020

23-09-2020

France

Shore crab (Carcinus maenas)

Face mask

Entangled

Opération Mer Propre

24

23-09-2020

23-09-2020

France

Shore crab (Carcinus maenas)

Face mask

Entangled

Opération Mer Propre

25

Unknown

29-08-2020

Unknown

Dogs (Canis lupus familiaris)

Face mask

Other: playing

Unknown

26

11-09-2020

15-09-2020

Brazil

Magellanic penguin (Spheniscus magellanicus)

Face mask

Ingested

Argonauta Institute for Coastal and Marine Conservation

27

30-09-2020

This overview

U.K.

Dog (Canis lupus familiaris)

Face mask

Ingested

Westport Veterinary Clinic

28

Unknown

09-10-2020

Unknown

Canada goose (Branta canadensis)

Face mask

Entangled

Unknown

29

Unknown

10-10-2020

The Netherlands

Serotine bat (Eptesicus serotinus)

Two face masks

Entangled

Mirjam van Otterlo

30

20-10-2020

23-10-2020

The Netherlands

European hedgehog (Erinaceus europaeus)

Face mask

Entangled

Egelopvang ‘t Stekeltje

31

30-10-2020

30-10-2020

Malaysia

Long-tailed macaque (Macaca fascicularis)

Face mask

Other: chewing

Mohd Rasfan

32

Unknown

24-11-2020

U.K.

Dog (Canis lupus familiaris)

Face mask

Ingested

Mike Glanton & Zetland Vets Hospital 

33

2020

2021

U.K.

Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos)

Face mask

Entangled

RSPCA

34

01-01-2021

04-01-2021

The Netherlands

Gull sp. (Laridae sp.)

Face mask

Entangled

Erwin Kompanje

35

01-01-2021

07-01-2021

The Netherlands

Dog (Canis lupus familiaris)

Face mask

Ingested

Janneke van Gerwen

36

23-02-2021

23-02-2021

Canada

Herring gull (Larus argentatus)

Face mask

Entangled

Lancy Cheng

37

Unknown

09-03-2021

Philippines

Coral sp.

Face masks

Entangled

Anilao Scuba Dive Centre

38

04-03-2021

This overview

Italy

Yellow-legged gull (Larus michahellis)

Face mask

Ingested

Marco Zenatello, Italian Institute for Environmental Protection and Research

39

06-03-2021

07-03-2021

The Netherlands

Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos)

Face mask

Entangled

Dierenambulance Noord- en Midden-Drenthe

40

22-03-2021

This overview

The Netherlands

Crow (Corvus corone)

Face mask

Ingesting

Kylian

41

27-03-2021

This overview

U.S.A.

Red-tailed hawk (Buteo jamaicensis)

Face mask

Entangled

Jason

42

Unknown

2020

U.K.

Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos)

Face mask

Entangled

RSPCA

43

02-04-2021

03-04-2021

Belgium

Oystercatcher (Haematopus longirostris)

Face mask

Other: carrying

Dirk Blondeel

44

03-04-2021

This overview

The Netherlands

Western jackdaw (Coloeus monedula)

Face mask

Other: carrying

Rob Sevenhuijsen

45

04-04-2021

This overview

The Netherlands

Common coot (Fulica atra)

Face mask

Nest material

Lia