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Mortality of wild amphibians and reptiles admitted to a Wildlife Rehabilitation Center in Northern Portugal (2009 – 2017)

Andreia Garcês, Felisbina Queiroga, Fernando Pacheco, Luis Sanches Fernandes, Vanessa Soeiro, Sara Lóio, Justina Prada, Rui Cortes, Isabel Pires


The data from 78 native species of reptiles and amphibians admitted to the Wildlife Rehabilitation Center of Parque Biológico de Gaia (Portugal) from 2009 to 2017 were revised to determine the main causes of morbidity and mortality. These data include four different orders: order Squamata (51.3%), order Testudinata (12.8%), order Anura (12.8%), and order Caudata (2.6%). 92.3% of the considered admittances were adults arriving during spring (41%) and autumn (29.5%). The main causes of admission to Rehabilitation Center were animals debilitated (12.8%) and injured (66.7%). Trauma was the major cause of mortality (78.2%). Unknown origin was the main cause of traumatic (71.8%) and non-traumatic (9.0%) death, followed by captivity related lesions (6.4%). These animals are excellent bioindicators of the health of the ecosystem and enable the identification of the main threats affecting them, especially those of anthropogenic origin. Studies of mortality on wild reptiles and amphibians are important to understand which the main threats and how human activity is affecting these populations.


Amphibian; anthropogenic factors; bioindicators; mortality; north of Portugal; Reptile

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