Feathered Detectives: Real-Time GPS Tracking of Scavenging Gulls Pinpoints Illegal Waste Dumping

14Citations
Citations of this article
68Readers
Mendeley users who have this article in their library.

Abstract

<p>Urban waste impacts human and environmental health, and waste management has become one of the major challenges of humanity. Concurrently with new directives due to manage this human by-product, illegal dumping has become one of the most lucrative activities of organized crime. Beyond economic fraud, illegal waste disposal strongly enhances uncontrolled dissemination of human pathogens, pollutants and invasive species. Here, we demonstrate the potential of novel real-time GPS tracking of scavenging species to detect environmental crime. Specifically, we were able to detect illegal activities at an officially closed dump, which was visited recurrently by 5 of 19 GPS-tracked yellow-legged gulls (<italic>Larus michahellis</italic>). In comparison with conventional land-based surveys, GPS tracking allows a much wider and cost-efficient spatiotemporal coverage, even of the most hazardous sites, while GPS data accessibility through the internet enables rapid intervention. Our results suggest that multi-species guilds of feathered detectives equipped with GPS and cameras could help fight illegal dumping at continental scales. We encourage further experimental studies, to infer waste detection thresholds in gulls and other scavenging species exploiting human waste dumps.</p>

Cite

CITATION STYLE

APA

Navarro, J., Grémillet, D., Afán, I., Ramírez, F., Bouten, W., & Forero, M. G. (2016). Feathered Detectives: Real-Time GPS Tracking of Scavenging Gulls Pinpoints Illegal Waste Dumping. PLoS ONE, 11(7). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0159974

Register to see more suggestions

Mendeley helps you to discover research relevant for your work.

Already have an account?

Save time finding and organizing research with Mendeley

Sign up for free