Morbidity and Mortality of Bald Eagles (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) and Peregrine Falcons (Falco peregrinus) Admitted to the Wildlife Center of Virginia, 1993-2003

Publication Type:Journal Article
Year of Publication:2007
Authors:M. Harris, C, Sleeman, JM
Journal:Journal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine
Date Published:2007
ISBN Number:10427260
Keywords:Accipitridae, Falco, Falco peregrinus, Falconidae, Haliaeetus, Haliaeetus leucocephalus
Abstract:Medical records from 111 threatened bald eagles (86%, Haliaeetus leucocephalus) and peregrine falcons (14%, Falco peregrinus) admitted to the Wildlife Center of Virginia from 1993 to 2003 were reviewed to identify submitters, causes of morbidity and mortality, and final disposition. Half of all patients admitted were submitted by the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries personnel. Trauma was the most common reason for presentation in bald eagles (70%) and peregrine falcons (81%). Additional causes of morbidity and mortality in bald eagles included toxicoses (10%), infectious diseases (8%), and orphaned young (1%). Neoplasia was confirmed in two trauma cases, suggesting underlying disease might have increased susceptibility to acute traumatic injuries. Peregrine falcons were also admitted for infectious disease (19%). The most frequent infectious disease for both species was West Nile virus. Thirty-nine percent of patients were released back into the wild, 28% were euthanized, 20% died, and 13% were placed in captivity. Postrelease monitoring that would determine whether rehabilitated animals survived to contribute to threatened populations was not performed in this study.
Short Title:Journal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine
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