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J Zoo Wildl Med. 2005 Jun;36(2):222-8.

A retrospective study of presentation, treatment, and outcome of free-ranging raptors in Greece (1997-2000).

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Department of Clinical Studies, Clinic of Surgery, School of Veterinary Medicine, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, St. Voutyra 11, Thessaloniki 546-27, Greece.


A retrospective study was conducted on free-ranging raptors (n = 402) presented to the Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital, School of Veterinary Medicine, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece, during a 3-yr period (1997-2000). Representatives of 19 species were admitted from taxonomic orders Accipitriformes (n = 295), Falconiformes (n = 35), and Strigiformes (n = 72). Traumatic injuries (n = 305, 75.8%) were the most common cause of presentation in all raptors. Starvation (n = 38 birds, 9.4%) was the second most common reason, whereas toxicoses (n = 28, 6.9%) were suspected in a limited number of birds. Orphans (n = 31, 7.7%) were presented during breeding season primarily because of inappropriate human intervention. Surgical and medical treatment was given to all birds when necessary. In total, 229 (56.9%) of the presented raptors were successfully rehabilitated and released, 121 (30%) were rehabilitated but nonreleasable, whereas 52 (12.9%) of them died despite treatment. Human intervention (79.2%) plays the most important role in birds of prey morbidity and mortality.

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