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Solid waste puts tortoises at risk in Ecuador’s islands

Quito, Nov 14 (Prensa Latina) Ecuadorian researchers document today the presence of plastic waste in the daily diet of giant tortoises in the Galapagos Islands, a problem with environmental and even economic consequences, they warned.

Professor of Biology at the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Ecuador (PUCE), Santiago Ron, warned through his social network X that on Santa Cruz Island, the reptiles eat a large amount of plastics due to the accumulation of garbage in their habitat.

According to Ron, in addition to plastics, freshwater turtles also ingest construction materials, glass, fabrics, paper, metals and rubber, although -he said- the frequency of plastics in their diet was higher.

It seems that they more easily confuse plastics with their natural food, explained the researcher.

Likewise, he detailed that an average of garbage was found for every two square meters that did not come from the ocean -he warned- as has been documented in other studies. The garbage was generated locally in the archipelago, said Ron.

The specialist specified that the color of the plastic also has an effect, since turtles eat green and white materials more frequently, due to their availability in the environment.