Mortality and morbidity in captive Livingstone’s fruit bats Pteropus livingstonii

Authors

  • Cristian Segura-Cortijos Cheshire Pet Medical Centre
  • Edward Bell
  • Andrew Routh
  • Ana Muniesa del Campo
  • Rowena Killick
  • Aimee Drane
  • Alberto Rodriguez Barbon

Keywords:

Livingstone's fruit bat, morbidity, mortality, Pteropodidae, Pteropus livingstonii

Abstract

Medical and pathology records were reviewed for 161 Critically Endangered Livingstone’s fruit bats Pteropus livingstonii (LFBs) held at Jersey Zoo and Bristol Zoological Gardens between 1992 and 2017, representing over 95% of the historical population managed at these institutions. The association of mortality and morbidity in relation to age (immature: 0 days–2.5 years, adults: 2.5–15 years, geriatric >15 years) and sex was analysed. Overall, 427 individual medical problems were identified in 56% of the population. The most common causes of morbidity were wounds (34.9%, n=150), localised inflammation (12.9%, n=55) and fractures (10.8%, n=46). Wounds were predominantly located in patagia (25.0%, n=38) and digits of the forelimbs (22.0%, n=33), with males at greater risk than females. Immature specimens were more likely than adult and geriatric animals to suffer wounds. Localised inflammatory lesions showed an increased risk associated with age. Females were found to be more likely to suffer from fractures. Eighty-eight deaths were recorded; the most common identified causes of mortality were early foetal death (18.2%, n=16), heart diseases (14.8%, n=13) and conspecific aggression (10.2%, n=9). Males and geriatric animals had a greater risk of suffering cardiac disease. This study determines the most common medical problems encountered in LFBs in captivity and establishes grounds for additional research into specific pathologies in this species.

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Published

31-07-2022

How to Cite

Segura-Cortijos, C., Bell, E., Routh, A. ., Muniesa del Campo, A. ., Killick, R. ., Drane, A. ., & Rodriguez Barbon, A. . (2022). Mortality and morbidity in captive Livingstone’s fruit bats Pteropus livingstonii. Journal of Zoo and Aquarium Research, 10(3), 149–157. Retrieved from https://www.jzar.org/jzar/article/view/562

Issue

Section

Evidence Based Practice

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