Morbidity and mortality in reptiles presented to a wildlife care facility in central Illinois

Anne E. Rivas, Matthew C. Allender, Mark Mitchell, Julia K. Whittington

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

We examined morbidity and mortality of 200 reptiles, representing 13 different species that were presented to the University of Illinois Wildlife Medical Clinic (WMC) from 2003 to 2010. Snapping turtles (Chelydra serpentine; n = 46), box turtles (Terrapene sp.; n = 43), painted turtles (Chrysemys picta; n = 37), and red-eared slider turtles (Trachemys scripta elegans; n = 33) were the most frequently seen species. Turtles were significantly more likely to be presented to the WMC following collision with a motor vehicle (n = 73) than any other reason, including idiopathic trauma (i.e., trauma of unknown origin; n = 25) or infectious disease (n =18). The findings from this cross-sectional study suggest a potential for community education in limiting reptile traumas resulting in presentations to a wildlife hospital.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)78-87
Number of pages10
JournalHuman-Wildlife Interactions
Volume8
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2014

Keywords

  • Anthropogenic
  • Human-wildlife conflicts
  • Morbidity
  • Mortality
  • Reptile
  • Trauma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nature and Landscape Conservation
  • Ecology

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