Morbidity, outcomes and cost-benefit analysis of wildlife rehabilitation in Catalonia (Spain)

Rafael Angel Molina-López, Santi Mañosa, Alex Torres-Riera, Manel Pomarol, Laila Darwich

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


© 2018 International Wildlife Rehabilitation Council. All rights reserved. There are few studies of careful examination of wildlife casualties in wildlife rehabilitation centers. The release rate is considered the main outcome indicator but other parameters, such as length of stay and number of released animals per euro and day, could be reliable estimators of rehabilitation costs. A retrospective study was done based on 54,772 admissions from 1995-2013 by the Wildlife Rehabilitation Center of Torreferrussa (Catalonia, Spain) assessing morbidity, outcomes and cost-benefits of WRC rehabilitation practices. Most frequent causes of admission were: 39.8% confiscation of protected species, 31.8% orphaned young, and 17.4% trauma casualties. The highest proportion of releases was in captivity confiscation, followed by the orphaned category. For the trauma group, 46.8% of releases were hedgehogs (44 days) and 25.6% owls (103 days). In the cost-benefit index, the trauma casualties and infectious diseases had the worse values with 1.3 and 1.4 released animals/euro/day respectively, and were particularly low in raptors, waders, marine birds, and Chiroptera. On the contrary, captivity (4.6) and misplacement (4.1) had the best index, particularly in amphibians, reptiles, and passerines. Conclusions / Significance: Cost-benefit studies including the release rate, the time of stay at the center and the cost benefit index should be implemented for improving management efficiency of wildlife rehabilitation centers.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)17-30
JournalJournal of Wildlife Rehabilitation
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2018


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