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26 July 2022 Trends in the Admission of Raptors to the Moholoholo Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre, Limpopo Province, South Africa
N Mbali Mashele, Lindy J Thompson, Colleen T Downs
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Abstract

Raptors have crucial functions, both ecologically and as environmental indicators. Currently, many raptor species worldwide are threatened, and the potential loss of functional groups will yield dire consequences. We identified the trends and causes of raptor admissions to the Moholoholo Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre, Limpopo province, South Africa, using information from the case files of 629 individual raptors from 44 species that were admitted between 1996 (month unspecified) and February 2018. The most frequently admitted raptor species were the Western Barn Owl Tyto alba (n = 130), Spotted Eagle-owl Bubo africanus (n = 81) and White-backed Vulture Gyps africanus (n = 53). Raptors came from as far away as Ghana, although most of the birds were from Limpopo and Mpumalanga provinces, South Africa. In 48% of cases (n = 304), the causes of injuries were not documented. Of the 252 cases in which the causes of injury were recorded, the most frequent causes of injury (for all raptor species combined) were poisoning (23%, n = 59), followed by motor vehicle collisions (17%, n = 43), falls from nests (10%, n = 25), and collisions with fences (8%, n = 20). For the 516 individuals for which the outcome was known, the most common outcome was ‘release’ (37%, n = 193). Our results highlight the impact of poisoning on raptors and underpin the need for increased public education about the ecological and cultural importance of raptors, and the threats that raptors face.

Copyright © Zoological Society of Southern Africa
N Mbali Mashele, Lindy J Thompson, and Colleen T Downs "Trends in the Admission of Raptors to the Moholoholo Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre, Limpopo Province, South Africa," African Zoology 57(1), 56-63, (26 July 2022). https://doi.org/10.1080/15627020.2021.2016073
Received: 24 April 2020; Accepted: 6 December 2021; Published: 26 July 2022
JOURNAL ARTICLE
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KEYWORDS
Bubo africanus
fences
Gyps africanus
mortality
motor vehicle collisions
poisoning
threats
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