Tafira Wildlife Rehabilitation Center

Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Spain

Tafira Wildlife Rehabilitation Center

Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Spain
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Montesdeoca N.,University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria | Calabuig P.,Tafira Wildlife Rehabilitation Center | Corbera J.A.,University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria | Oros J.,University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria
PLoS ONE | Year: 2017

Aims The aims of this study were to analyze the causes of morbidity and mortality in a large population of seabirds admitted to the Tafira Wildlife Rehabilitation Center (TWRC) in Gran Canaria Island, Spain, from 2003 to 2013, and to analyze the outcomes of the rehabilitation process. Methods We included 1,956 seabirds (133 dead on admission and 1,823 admitted alive) in this study. Causes of morbidity were classified into nine categories: Light pollution (fallout), fishing gear interaction, crude oil, poisoning/intoxication, other traumas, metabolic/nutritional disorder, orphaned young birds, other causes, and unknown/undetermined. The crude and stratified (by causes of admission) rates of the three final disposition categories (euthanasia Er, unassisted mortality Mr, and release Rr), the time until death, and the length of stay were also studied for the seabirds admitted alive. Results Yellow-legged Gull (Larus michahellis) was the species most frequently admitted (46.52%), followed by Cory's Shearwater (Calonectris diomedea borealis) (20.09%). The most frequent causes of morbidity were light pollution (fallout) (25.81%), poisoning/intoxication (24.69%), and other traumas (18.14%). The final disposition rates were: Er = 15.35%, Mr = 16.29%, and Rr = 68.34%. The highest Er was observed in the òther traumas' category (58.08%). Seabirds admitted due to metabolic/nutritional disorder had the highest Mr (50%). The highest Rr was observed in the light pollution (fallout) category (99.20%). Conclusions This survey provides useful information for the conservation of several seabird species. We suggest that at least the stratified analysis by causes of admission of the three final disposition rates, and the parameters time until death and length of stay at the center should be included in the outcome research of the rehabilitation of seabirds. The high release rate for seabirds (68.34%) achieved at the TWRC emphasizes the importance of wildlife rehabilitation centers for the conservation of seabirds. © 2017 Montesdeoca et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.


Camacho M.,University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria | Camacho M.,Tafira Wildlife Rehabilitation Center | Boada L.D.,University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria | Oros J.,University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria | And 4 more authors.
Science of the Total Environment | Year: 2014

Despite the current environmental concern regarding the risk posed by contamination in marine ecosystems, the concentrations of pollutants in sea turtles have not been thoroughly elucidated. In the current study, we determined the concentrations of 18 organochlorine pesticides (OCPs), 18 polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), 16 polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and 11 inorganic elements (Cu, Mn, Pb, Zn, Cd, Ni, Cr, As, Al, Hg and Se) for the first time in two sea turtle species (Chelonia mydas and Eretmochelys imbricata). Only five of the 18 analyzed OCPs were detected in both species. The average total OCP concentration was higher in green turtles than in hawksbills (0.33. ng/ml versus 0.20. ng/ml). Higher concentrations of individual congeners and total PCBs were also detected in green turtles than in hawksbills (∑. PCBs=0.73. ng/ml versus 0.19. ng/ml), and different PCB contamination profiles were observed in these two species. Concerning PAHs, we also observed a different contamination profile and higher levels of contamination in green turtles (∑. PAHs=12.06. ng/ml versus 2.95. ng/ml). Di- and tri-cyclic PAHs were predominant in both populations, suggesting a petrogenic origin, rather than urban sources of PAHs. Additionally, all of the samples exhibited detectable levels of the 11 inorganic elements. In this case, we also observed relevant differences between both species. Thus, Zn was the most abundant inorganic element in hawksbills (an essential inorganic element), whereas Ni, a well-known toxicant, was the most abundant inorganic element in green turtles. The presence of contaminants is greater in green turtles relative to hawksbill turtles, suggesting a greater exposure to hazardous chemical contaminants for green turtles. These results provide baseline data for these species that can serve for future monitoring purposes outlined in the EU's Marine Strategy Framework Directive. © 2014 Elsevier B.V.


Camacho M.,University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria | Camacho M.,Tafira Wildlife Rehabilitation Center | Boada L.D.,University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria | Oros J.,University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria | And 4 more authors.
Bulletin of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology | Year: 2013

We evaluated the presence of 37 organohalogen contaminants in plasma samples from 162 juvenile and 197 adult loggerhead turtles (Caretta caretta) from the archipelagos of the Canary Islands and Cape Verde, respectively, and compared the contamination profiles found. We detected five organochlorine pesticides (OCP) and 16 polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). The concentrations of the two groups of contaminants were higher in turtles from the Canary Islands (OCPs, 1.04 vs. 0.37 ng/mL; PCBs, 1.92 vs. 0.08 ng/mL). We also observed a different profile of PCB contamination between the two populations. In addition, there was a negative correlation between body size and the total concentration of PCBs in the Canary Islands turtles, but not in turtles from Cape Verde. The present study presents the first data on the organochlorine contaminants (OCs) of live turtles from Canary Islands. In addition, we perform a comparison of the levels and profiles of OCs between these two different groups of loggerhead sea turtles from the Eastern Atlantic. © Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013.


Camacho M.,University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria | Del Pino Quintana M.,University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria | Calabuig P.,Tafira Wildlife Rehabilitation Center | Luzardo O.P.,University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria | And 4 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2015

Aim: The aim of this study was to compare the efficacy and effects on acid-base and electrolyte status of several crystalloid fluids in 57 stranded juvenile loggerhead turtles. Methods: Within a rehabilitation program four different crystalloid fluids were administered (0.9% Na Cl solution; 5% dextrose + 0.9% Na Cl solutions 1:1; 0.9% Na Cl + lactated Ringer's solutions 1:1; lactated Ringer's solution). Crystalloid fluids were intracoelomically administered during three days (20 ml/kg/day). Animals were sampled at three different moments: Upon admission for evaluating the type of acid-base or biochemical disorder, post-fluid therapy treatment for controlling the evolution of the disorder, and post-recovery period for obtaining the baseline values for rehabilitated loggerhead turtles. Each sample was analyzed with a portable electronic blood analyzer for p H, pO2, pCO2, lactate, sodium, potassium, chloride, glucose, and BUN concentration. Admission and post-fluid therapy treatment values were compared with those obtained for each turtle immediately before release. Results: The highest percentage of acid-base recovery and electrolyte balance was observed in turtles treated with mixed saline-lactated Ringer's solution (63.6%), followed by turtles treated with physiological saline solution (55%), lactated Ringer's solution (33.3%), and dextrose-saline solutions (10%). Most turtles treated with lactated Ringer's solution had lower lactate concentrations compared with their initial values; however, 66.6% of turtles treated with lactated Ringer's solution had metabolic alkalosis after therapy. Significant higher concentrations of glucose were detected after saline-dextrose administration compared with all the remaining fluids. Conclusions: This is the first study evaluating the effects of several crystalloid fluids on the acid-base status and plasma biochemical values in stranded loggerhead sea turtles. Reference convalescent venous blood gas, acid-base, and plasma biochemical values, useful for veterinary surgeons involved in sea turtle conservation, are also provided. © 2015 Camacho et al.


Camacho M.,University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria | Calabuig P.,Tafira Wildlife Rehabilitation Center | Luzardo O.P.,University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria | Boada L.D.,University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria | And 2 more authors.
Journal of Wildlife Diseases | Year: 2013

We report the number of strandings caused by crude oil among loggerhead turtles (Caretta caretta) in the Canary Islands between 1998 and 2011 and analyze the impact of the designation of the Canary Islands as a Particularly Sensitive Sea Area (PSSA) in 2005. Among 1,679 stranded loggerhead turtles, 52 turtles stranded due to crude oil (3.1%). The survival rate of the turtles stranded by crude oil was 88%. All turtles that died because of crude oil stranding had signs of ingestion of crude oil and lesions, included esophageal impaction, necrotizing gastroenteritis, necrotizing hepatitis, and tubulonephrosis. The number of strandings caused by crude oil after 2005 was significantly lower than it was before 2006. We show that the designation of the Canary Islands as a PSSA in 2005 by the International Maritime Organization was associated with a reduction of sea turtle strandings caused by crude oil. © Wildlife Disease Association 2013.


Montesdeoca N.,University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria | Calabuig P.,Tafira Wildlife Rehabilitation Center | Corbera J.A.,University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria | Oros J.,University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria
Journal of Wildlife Diseases | Year: 2016

We report the causes of morbidity of 2,458 free-living raptors admitted to the Tafira Wildlife Rehabilitation Center on Gran Canaria Island, Spain, during 2003–13. The seasonal cumulative incidences were investigated while considering estimates of the wild populations in the region. These methods were used as a more accurate approach to assess the potential ecologic impact of different causes of morbidity. The most frequently admitted species were the Eurasian Kestrel (Falco tinnunculus; 53.0%), the Eurasian Long-eared Owl (Asio otus canariensis; 28.1%), the Canary Islands Common Buzzard (Buteo buteo insularum; 8.0%), and the Eurasian Barn Owl (Tyto alba; 4.4%). The most frequent causes of admission were trauma (33.8%), orphanedyoung birds (21.7%), unknown (18.4%), and metabolic/nutritional disease (11.1%). Local morbidity caused by glue trapping and entanglement in burr bristlegrass (Setaria adhaerens) had prevalences of 5.0% and 1.8%, respectively. The highest number of admissions during the breeding and nonbreeding seasons was observed for the Eurasian Barn Owl and the Barbary Falcon (Falco pelegrinoides), respectively, mainly due to trauma of unknown origin. © Wildlife Disease Association 2016.


Oros J.,University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria | Montesdeoca N.,University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria | Camacho M.,University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria | Arencibia A.,University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria | Calabuig P.,Tafira Wildlife Rehabilitation Center
PLoS ONE | Year: 2016

Aims: The aims of this study were to analyze the causes of stranding of 1,860 loggerhead turtles (Caretta caretta) admitted at the Tafira Wildlife Rehabilitation Center in Gran Canaria Island, Spain, from 1998 to 2014, and to analyze the outcomes of the rehabilitation process to allow meaningful auditing of its quality. Methods: Primary causes of morbidity were classified into seven categories: entanglement in fishing gear and/or plastics, ingestion of hooks and monofilament lines, trauma, infectious disease, crude oil, other causes, and unknown/undetermined. Final dispositions were calculated as euthanasia (Er), unassisted mortality (Mr), and release (Rr) rates. Time to death (Td) for euthanized and dead turtles, and length of stay for released (Tr) turtles were evaluated. Results: The most frequent causes of morbidity were entanglement in fishing gear and/or plastics (50.81%), unknown/undetermined (20.37%), and ingestion of hooks (11.88%). The final disposition of the 1,634 loggerhead turtles admitted alive were: Er = 3.37%, Mr = 10.34%, and Rr = 86.29%. Er was significantly higher in the trauma category (18.67%) compared to the other causes of admission. The highest Mr was observed for turtles admitted due to trauma (30.67%). The highest Rr was observed in the crude oil (93.87%) and entanglement (92.38%) categories. The median Tr ranged from 12 days (unknown) to 70 days (trauma). Conclusions: This survey is the first large-scale epidemiological study on causes of stranding and mortality of Eastern Atlantic loggerheads and demonstrates that at least 71.72% of turtles stranded due to anthropogenic causes. The high Rr (86.29%) emphasizes the importance of marine rehabilitation centers for conservation purposes. The stratified analysis by causes of admission of the three final disposition rates, and the parameters Td and Tr should be included in the outcome research of the rehabilitation process of sea turtles in order to allow comparative studies between marine rehabilitation centers around the world. © 2016 Orós et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.


Oros J.,University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria | Camacho M.,University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria | Calabuig P.,Tafira Wildlife Rehabilitation Center | Arencibia A.,University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria
Diseases of Aquatic Organisms | Year: 2011

The present study describes pathological and microbiological findings in 9 stranded loggerhead sea turtles Caretta caretta, whose only observed lesion was bilateral purulent salt gland adenitis. Histological lesions ranged from the presence of abundant eosinophilic material associated with bacterial colonies in the lumen of the central ducts of the glandular lobules to the destruction of the glandular tissue and presence of abundant eosinophilic material composed of heterophils and cell debris, lined by multinucleated giant cells. Aeromonas hydrophila, Staphylococcus sp., and Vibrio alginolyticus were the bacteria most frequently isolated. Plasma concentrations of sodium and chloride and plasma osmolality from 2 turtles suffering from salt gland adenitis were, respectively 45.7, 69.2, and 45.7% higher than the mean value for healthy turtles. These cases suggest that failure to maintain homeostasis due to severe lesions in the salt glands can cause stranding and/or death of loggerhead sea turtles. © Inter-Research 2011.


Camacho M.,University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria | Boada L.D.,University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria | Oros J.,University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria | Calabuig P.,Tafira Wildlife Rehabilitation Center | And 2 more authors.
Marine Pollution Bulletin | Year: 2012

Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) were measured in plasma samples of 162 juvenile loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta) from Canary Islands, and 205 adult nesting loggerheads from Cape Verde. All the 367 samples showed detectable values of some type of PAH. Phenanthrene was the PAH most frequently detected and at the highest concentration in both populations. Median concentrations of ∑PAHs in the plasma of loggerheads from the Canary Islands and Cape Verde were similar (5.5 and 4.6. ng/ml, respectively). Di- and tri-cyclic PAHs were predominant in both populations suggesting petrogenic origin rather than urban sources of PAHs. In the group of turtles from Canary Islands, there was evident an increasing level of contamination over the last few years. The present study represents the first data of contamination by PAHs in sea turtles from the studied areas. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.


PubMed | University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria and Tafira Wildlife Rehabilitation Center
Type: Journal Article | Journal: PloS one | Year: 2016

The aims of this study were to analyze the causes of stranding of 1,860 loggerhead turtles (Caretta caretta) admitted at the Tafira Wildlife Rehabilitation Center in Gran Canaria Island, Spain, from 1998 to 2014, and to analyze the outcomes of the rehabilitation process to allow meaningful auditing of its quality.Primary causes of morbidity were classified into seven categories: entanglement in fishing gear and/or plastics, ingestion of hooks and monofilament lines, trauma, infectious disease, crude oil, other causes, and unknown/undetermined. Final dispositions were calculated as euthanasia (Er), unassisted mortality (Mr), and release (Rr) rates. Time to death (Td) for euthanized and dead turtles, and length of stay for released (Tr) turtles were evaluated.The most frequent causes of morbidity were entanglement in fishing gear and/or plastics (50.81%), unknown/undetermined (20.37%), and ingestion of hooks (11.88%). The final disposition of the 1,634 loggerhead turtles admitted alive were: Er = 3.37%, Mr = 10.34%, and Rr = 86.29%. Er was significantly higher in the trauma category (18.67%) compared to the other causes of admission. The highest Mr was observed for turtles admitted due to trauma (30.67%). The highest Rr was observed in the crude oil (93.87%) and entanglement (92.38%) categories. The median Tr ranged from 12 days (unknown) to 70 days (trauma).This survey is the first large-scale epidemiological study on causes of stranding and mortality of Eastern Atlantic loggerheads and demonstrates that at least 71.72% of turtles stranded due to anthropogenic causes. The high Rr (86.29%) emphasizes the importance of marine rehabilitation centers for conservation purposes. The stratified analysis by causes of admission of the three final disposition rates, and the parameters Td and Tr should be included in the outcome research of the rehabilitation process of sea turtles in order to allow comparative studies between marine rehabilitation centers around the world.

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