The Mammal Society, with support from Waitrose & Partners’ Golden Jubilee Trust scheme and the University of Sussex, have launched a new project to investigate the impact of plastic pollution on Britain’s small mammals. Read our press release here.
As highlighted by the BBC’s Blue Planet, plastic in our seas threatens marine mammals. However, almost nothing is known about impacts on land mammals. This study will assess the exposure of wild mammals to waste plastics across the UK. By analysing the droppings of some of our most widespread species — mice, voles, shrews, rabbits and hedgehogs — we will find out the extent to which plastics are eaten. We will also assess the health threats posed by different types of plastic, through both ingestion and entrapment.
Why is our focus on small mammals?
- Pygmy Shrew by John PhillipsSmall mammals are a good indication of the health of our ecosystems.
- Hedgehogs, and many small rodents, are in severe decline.
- They are vital prey for a wide variety of species including foxes, weasels, barn owls, and kestrels.
- As some of the most likely species to chew litter, they create tiny plastic fragments that can enter soils, waterways and the sea.
- Plastics in small mammals means plastics in their predators – ranging from owls to pet cats.
How will we find out if they are eating plastic?
Droppings of small mammals are digested in the laboratory and any micro plastics are identified under a microscope. You can find out more in Emily’s blog here.
How you can help
You can help The Mammal Society by taking out a Commercial or Personal policy through Evergreen and we will donate up to 25% of our commission to The Mammal Society, which will allow them to continue their fantastic and needed work around the issues that mammals face. You can request a quote on our website evergreeninsuranceservices.co.uk or call us on 020 3372 2182