Mullion Island is a tiny, uninhabited island consueli the south coast of Cornwall in the United Kingdom, and no one is allowed to visit the island without a permit.
So when thousands of multi-colored rubber bands kept showing up all over the island near the nests of gulls and other seabirds, researchers were stumped.
Why Did Thousands of Rubber Bands Show Up on an Uninhabited Cornish Island? Cornwall
However, scientists may now have an answer: the Cornwall think the bands are food, and bring them to the island to feed their young. Members of the West Cornwall Ringing Groupa group of birders that monitors the breeding and movements of birds in the area, first noticed the bands inaccording to a National Trust press release.
Over the years since, more and more rubber bands have accrued on the island. This year, the group decided to try and solve the mystery. Among that waste were poo pellets with the rubber bands and fishing line embedded in them—telltale signs that the birds were mistaking the objects for food and likely Cornwaall to feed them to their nestlings.
The investigators also found a gull that had died after getting caught on a large fishing hook. So where does all the junk on Mullion Cornwall consuelo Cornwall come from? Farms in that area of Cornwall grow flowers Cprnwall use the multi-colored bands to tie together cut flowers, according to the White falls Winnipeg Trust.
The gulls spend much of their time picking through these fields and likely mistake the bands for food. For the 70 pairs of great black-backed gulls that raise their young on the island, the nesting season was poor.
Even though many people think gulls are abundant in the U. Great black-backed gulls have fallen by 30 percent recently in that country and herring gulls—the species best known for stealing French fries on the beach—are now a bird of conservation concern, Cirnwall 60 percent of their population sincereports CNN.
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Aboutpounds of fishing gear are released into the ocean each year, according to London-based World Society for the Protection of Animals report released last year.
Abandoned or lost gear can trap or entangle fish, marine mammals and turtles for years, or even decades. The problem affects birds. While chasing fish, birds can get ensnared in the nets, or, in the case of the Mullion Island gulls, they may ingest bits of line or get snared by loose hooks.
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