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

03-04-2020

03-04-2020

U.K.

Dog (Canis lupus familiaris)

Face mask

Ingested

Braid vets

2

10-04-2020

23-04-2020

Canada

American robin (Turdus migratorius)

Face mask

Entangled

Sandra Denisuk

3

Unknown

14-04-2020

Poland

Sparrow sp. (Passer sp.)

Gloves

Nest material

Marta Szulkin

4

Unknown

11-05-2020

U.S.A.

Cat (Felis catus)

Glove

Ingested

ACCT Philly and Art City Vets & Urgent Care

5

03-06-2020

The paper

The Netherlands

Common coot (Fulica atra)

Face mask

Nest material

Marieke Elzinga

6

18-06-2020

This overview

Germany

White tailed eagle (Haliaeetus albicilla)

Face mask

Entangled

Volker Hastädt & Karsten Matschei & Bela Bartel

7

Unknown

01-07-2020

France

Common octopus (Octopus vulgaris)

Face mask

Other: hiding 

Opération Mer Propre

8

19-07-2020

19-07-2020

U.K.

Gull sp. (Laridae sp.)

Face mask

Entangled

RSPCA Essex South

9

19-07-2020

24-07-2020

U.K.

Peregrine Falcon (Falco peregrinus)

Face mask

Entangled

Steve Shiley

10

Unknown

22-07-2020

U.K.

Red fox (Vulpes vulpes)

Face mask

Entangled

South Essex Wildlife Hospital

11

Unknown

22-07-2020

U.K.

European hedgehog (Erinaceus europaeus)

Glove

Entangled

South Essex Wildlife Hospital

12

31-07-2020

31-07-2020

U.S.A.

Checkered pufferfish (Sphoeroides testudineus)

Face mask

Entangled

Tiffany Menichetti (Clean this beach up)

13

02-08-2020

The paper

The Netherlands

Perch (Perca fluviatilis)

Glove

Entrapped

Brandon Hartley and Marie

Diamond (Plastic Spotter)

14

24-07-2020

05-08-2020

U.S.A.

Dog (Canis lupus familiaris)

Face mask

Ingested

Animal Rescue League of Boston

15

Unknown

07-08-2020

U.K.

Gull sp. (Laridae sp.)

Face mask

Carrying

Roger Lovell

16

11-08-2020

11-08-2020

U.K.

Gull sp. (Laridae sp.)

Face mask

Carrying

Leon Neal

17

11-08-2020

11-08-2020

U.K.

Gull sp. (Laridae sp.)

Face mask

Carrying

Peter Nicholls

18

31-08-2020

01-09-2020

U.K.

Gull sp. (Laridae sp.)

Face Mask

Carrying

Nicholas Hayman

19

Unknown

05-09-2020

U.K.

Dog (Canis lupus familiaris)

Face mask

Ingested

University of Glasgow’s small animal hospital

20

06-09-2020

The paper

The Netherlands

Common coot (Fulica atra)

Face mask and glove

Nest material

Auke-Florian Hiemstra and Liselotte Rambonnet

21

09-09-2020

This overview

The Netherlands

Cat (Felis catus)

Face mask

Carrying

D. Wesselius

22

Unknown

14-09-2020

Italy

Mute swan (Cygnus olor)

Face mask

Other: playing

Paolo Nicolai

23

Unknown

20-09-2020

Italy

Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos)

Face mask

Entangled

Jacopo Casali

24

Unknown

23-08-2020

Unknown, possibly North-America

Eastern chipmunk (Tamias striatus)

Face mask

Other: unknown

Unknown

25

23-09-2020

23-09-2020

France

Shore crab (Carcinus maenas)

Face mask

Entangled

Opération Mer Propre

26

23-09-2020

23-09-2020

France

Shore crab (Carcinus maenas)

Face mask

Entangled

Opération Mer Propre

27

Unknown

29-08-2020

Unknown

Dogs (Canis lupus familiaris)

Face mask

Other: playing

Unknown

28

11-09-2020

15-09-2020

Brazil

Magellanic penguin (Spheniscus magellanicus)

Face mask

Ingested

Argonauta Institute for Coastal and Marine Conservation

29

30-09-2020

This overview

U.K.

Dog (Canis lupus familiaris)

Face mask

Ingested

Westport Veterinary Clinic

30

Unknown

09-10-2020

Unknown

Canada goose (Branta canadensis)

Face mask

Entangled

Unknown

31

Unknown

10-10-2020

The Netherlands

Serotine bat (Eptesicus serotinus)

Two face masks

Entangled

Mirjam van Otterlo

32

20-10-2020

23-10-2020

The Netherlands

European hedgehog (Erinaceus europaeus)

Face mask

Entangled

Egelopvang ‘t Stekeltje

33

30-10-2020

30-10-2020

Malaysia

Long-tailed macaque (Macaca fascicularis)

Face mask

Other: chewing

Mohd Rasfan

34

Unknown

24-11-2020

U.K.

Dog (Canis lupus familiaris)

Face mask

Ingested

Mike Glanton & Zetland Vets Hospital 

35

2020

2021

U.K.

Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos)

Face mask

Entangled

RSPCA

36

01-01-2021

04-01-2021

The Netherlands

Gull sp. (Laridae sp.)

Face mask

Entangled

Erwin Kompanje

37

01-01-2021

07-01-2021

The Netherlands

Dog (Canis lupus familiaris)

Face mask

Ingested

Janneke van Gerwen

38

14-02-2021

17-02-2021

U.K.

Mergus merganser

Face mask

Entangled

Maureen Griffiths

39

23-02-2021

23-02-2021

Canada

Herring gull (Larus argentatus)

Face mask

Entangled

Lancy Cheng

40

Unknown

09-03-2021

Philippines

Coral sp.

Face masks

Entangled

Anilao Scuba Dive Centre

41

04-03-2021

This overview

Italy

Yellow-legged gull (Larus michahellis)

Face mask

Ingested

Marco Zenatello, Italian Institute for Environmental Protection and Research

42

06-03-2021

07-03-2021

The Netherlands

Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos)

Face mask

Entangled

Dierenambulance Noord- en Midden-Drenthe

43

22-03-2021

This overview

The Netherlands

Crow (Corvus corone)

Face mask

Ingesting

Kylian

44

26-03-2021

This overview

The Netherlands

Crow (Corvus corone)

Face mask

Nest material

E. van Loenen

45

27-03-2021

This overview

U.S.A.

Red-tailed hawk (Buteo jamaicensis)

Face mask

Entangled

Jason

46

Unknown

2020

U.K.

Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos)

Face mask

Entangled

RSPCA

47

02-04-2021

03-04-2021

Belgium

Oystercatcher (Haematopus longirostris)

Face mask

Other: carrying

Dirk Blondeel

48

03-04-2021

This overview

The Netherlands

Western jackdaw (Coloeus monedula)

Face mask

Other: carrying

Rob Sevenhuijsen

49

04-04-2021

This overview

The Netherlands

Common coot (Fulica atra)

Face mask

Nest material

Lia

50

06-04-2021

This overview

The Netherlands

Black kite (Milvus migrans)

Face mask

Carrying

Sven Hensen

51

19-04-2021

This overview

The Netherlands

Dog (Canis familiaris)

Face masks

Ingesting

L. Mulder

52

22-04-2021

25-04-2021

The Netherlands

Western jackdaw (Coloeus monedula)

Face masks

Nest material

Marcel van Kammen

53

01-05-2021

This overview

India

Sciuridae sp.

Face masks

Nest material

Manmath K Mishra

54

Unknown

06-05-2021

U.K.

Dog (Canis familiaris)

29 face masks

Ingested

Darren Coyne

55

06-05-2021

This overview

The Netherlands

Common coot (Fulica atra)

Face mask

Nest material

Danielle Z

56

11-05-2021

This overview

The Netherlands

Columba livia domestica

Face mask

Entangled

Femke van Veen

57

05-06-2021

06-06-2021

Ireland

Puffin (Fraticula arctica)

Face mask

Entangled

Pedro Teixeira

58

20-06-2021

This overview

U.S.A.

Crow (Corvus corone)

Face mask

Nest material

Monica Ellisor

59

05-07-2021

This overview

Germany

White stork (Ciconia ciconia)

Face mask

Nest material

Stefan Bosch, NABU

60

09-07-2021

16-07-2021

Namibia

Brown fur seal (Arctocephalus pusillus)

Face mask

Entangled

Ocean Conservation Namibia

61

17-07-2021

19-07-2021

U.K.

Herring gull (Larus argentatus)

Face mask

Ingesting

Amy Blackwell