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Plastic pollution kills half a million hermit crabs on remote islands


More than half a million hermit crabs have been killed after becoming trapped in plastic debris on two remote island groups, prompting concern that the deaths could be part of a global species decline.

The pioneering study found that 508,000 crabs died on the Cocos (Keeling) Islands archipelago in the Indian Ocean, along with 61,000 on Henderson Island in the South Pacific. Previous studies have found high levels of plastic pollution at both sites.

Researchers from the Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies (Imas) at the University of Tasmania, the Natural History Museum in London, and the community ...


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