During a dietary study on fishing cats living near Colombo, Sri Lanka, researchers made an unexpected finding: Some scat samples collected contained plastics. Varying in size from tiny microplastics to larger debris in the form of macroplastics, these findings are cause for concern for the vulnerable species, say conservationists.
The results were “a bit of a shocker to all of us,” Anya Ratnayaka, founder of the Urban Fishing Cat Conservation Project and lead author of the paper, told Mongabay in a video interview. The team collected 276 cat samples from fishing cats living in and around Colombo’s urban area and found that six contained plastics. “The fact that we even found any is a bit worrying,” she said.