We really can’t stand to see litter when we’re out and about in our local area and don’t understand why people won’t just put their rubbish in the bin! But we were really angry to learn that tiny animas are being killed as a result of litter!
A recent study has found that around 3.2 million tiny voles, shrews and mice have been found dead after crawling into small bottles and cans before getting stuck and not being able to get out, tragically causing them to starve.
Volunteers for the RSPB checked hundreds of bottles and cans for the tiny animals and sadly found the remains of dozens of little mammals who had been desperately seeking shelter only to get stuck. The worst form of litter was plastic bottles as volunteers found that one in eight plastic bottles contained a tiny dead animal.
Small mammals such as these are vital to our environment and food chain as they are responsible for eating small insects and plants whilst also being the food of larger birds such as owls or kestrels, meaning it is very important we do our best to protect these species as best we can.
The research was led by RSPB volunteer Graham Moates with help from charity, Keep Britain Tidy. Graham was very upset to find how many small animals had been affected by this litter.
“It is very upsetting to think of how many small creatures die in this way because of human carelessness” he said.
And we’re not surprised Graham was so upset after reading these shocking figures. Of the 2,174 bottles and cans collected, there were 230 dead animals inside. Of these, 118 were shrews and 59 were bank voles. Based on the findings, it is estimated up to 3.2 million animals are dying this way every year.
Further implications are being put into place by local authorities to try and crack down on the UK’s littering problem that is responsible for causing the very sad deaths of these tiny animals. Fines are now being issued to the registered keeper of vehicles that are spotted with litter being thrown out the window onto the sides of roads.