Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile
Gallo-Neto H., Gomes -Bantel C., Browning J., Della Fina N., Albuquerque T., Teles de Santana F., de Karam e Brito K., Barbosa C. (2021)

Mortality of a juvenile Magellanic penguin (Spheniscus magellanicus, Spheniscidae) associated with the ingestion of a PFF-2 protective mask during the Covid-19 pandemic

Revista : Marine Pollution Bulletin
Volumen : 166
Número : 112232
Tipo de publicación : ISI Ir a publicación


We report the discovery of a dead Magellanic penguin (Spheniscus magellanicus) found on Juquehy Beach (23°46?S 45°44?W), municipality of São Sebastião, Brazil, on September 9th 2020. Following necropsy, we noted the presence of an adult size PFF-2 protective mask within the stomach of the penguin which we inferred as the cause of death. As far as we are aware, this is the first recorded instance of marine animal mortality by protective face mask ingestion. Whilst concerns have been raised relating microplastic contamination in marine environments from Covid-19 related waste, there has been relatively less attention paid to the potential risk of macro-scale contaminants, such as protective face coverings. We suggest that Covid-19 related macro contaminants be considered in coastal marine risk assessments and urge further research on this topic.