What factors influence rehabilitation success?

An injured Florida panther is treated at a private facility before being returned to the wild.
Credit: Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission

When injured animals are rescued from the wild, making it through rehabilitation is no guarantee. To find out what factors influence the outcome as part of a grant focused on the effects of Australian bushfires, researchers from the University of Sydney conducted a study of literature from around the world.

The study, published in PLOS ONE, found that human activity, such as motor vehicle collisions and domestic animal attack, accounted for 45% of the reported causes of death and injury either pre-rescue or after release.

Researchers identified five categories that can impact survival outcomes for rescued wildlife: events, like oil spills or fires; individual animal factors, such as whether they are nocturnal or diurnal animals, where they reside in the food web; intervention performed; the quality of the release environment; and the human-wildlife interface, such as nearness of cars or domestic animals.

Read more at phys.org.