Retrospective study of morbidity and mortality of captive iberian lynx (lynx pardinus) in the ex situ conservation programme (2004-june 2010)

Fernando Martínez, Xavier Manteca, Josep Pastor

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15 Citations (Scopus)


Abstract: Medical records of 120 Iberian lynx (Lynx pardinus) from the captive breeding population (CBP), 96 of which were older than 1 wk old, were studied from January 2004 to June 2010. From a total of 413 clinical signs recorded, it was possible to obtain a diagnosis in 258 (62.5%). Inappetence, skin wound, and vomiting had the highest incidence. Adult (2 to 6 yr old) and juvenile (1 wk to 1 yr old) animals accounted for most of the clinical signs. Vitamin D toxicosis and intraspecific trauma accounted for 55.4% and 15.1% of the clinical signs, respectively. Renal toxicosis due to the administration of supplements with an excess of vitamin D occurred in 2009 and affected a total of 39 individuals. Intraspecific trauma cases were predominantly observed from sibling aggression. Diet-related conditions consisted of sporadic cases of fatal salmonellosis, dermatophytosis, and gastrointestinal episodes. Suspected idiopathic epilepsy and femoral neck metaphyseal osteopathy were also observed. A total of 15 animals older than 1 wk old died including five vitamin D toxicosis cases and three juveniles due to intraspecific trauma. Mycobacterium bovis was found as a secondary infection in two animals that died from vitamin D toxicosis. Abortions, premature births, and stillbirths accounted for 12 mortalities, and 13 neonatal deaths due to maternal neglect or bacterial sepsis were observed. Data show that improvement of diet-related conditions is a key factor in preserving the health of animals in the CBP. Thus, the control of food and supplement composition, rabbit farm suppliers, and hygiene should be standardized and improved. Furthermore, data recording and diagnostic protocols should be standardized. © 2013 American Association of Zoo Veterinarians.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)845-852
JournalJournal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2013


  • Captive breeding
  • Iberian lynx
  • Lynx pardinus
  • clinical signs
  • diseases
  • morbidity
  • mortality


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