Causes of morbidity in wild raptor populations admitted at a wildlife rehabilitation centre in Spain from 1995-2007: a long term retrospective study

PloS One
Rafael A Molina-LópezLaila Darwich


Morbidity studies complement the understanding of hazards to raptors by identifying natural or anthropogenic factors. Descriptive epidemiological studies of wildlife have become an important source of information about hazards to wildlife populations. On the other hand, data referenced to the overall wild population could provide a more accurate assessment of the potential impact of the morbidity/mortality causes in populations of wild birds. The present study described the morbidity causes of hospitalized wild raptors and their incidence in the wild populations, through a long term retrospective study conducted at a wildlife rehabilitation centre of Catalonia (1995-2007). Importantly, Seasonal Cumulative Incidences (SCI) were calculated considering estimations of the wild population in the region and trend analyses were applied among the different years. A total of 7021 birds were analysed: 7 species of Strigiformes (n = 3521) and 23 of Falconiformes (n = 3500). The main causes of morbidity were trauma (49.5%), mostly in the Falconiformes, and orphaned/young birds (32.2%) mainly in the Strigiformes. During wintering periods, the largest morbidity incidence was observed in Accipiter gentillis due to gunshot wounds and in Tyto a...Continue Reading


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