With many species of southern African raptors becoming increasingly threatened, records from rehabilitation centres can give an indication of the threats faced by birds of prey in particular areas and to particular species. Thus, admissions records from a raptor rehabilitation centre in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, were analysed for trends. Over eight years (2004–2011), 547 birds from 39 raptor species were admitted to the centre. The majority of individuals were spotted eagle-owls (16.6%), western barn owls (15.2%) and yellow-billed kites (9.7%). The most frequent known causes of injury to raptors were motor vehicle accidents and injuries caused when birds flew into buildings. There was no significant difference in admissions of motor vehicle collision cases between seasons. People generally waited 3.8 days before bringing injured raptors in to the centre, and approximately half of the birds admitted were fed within that time, highlighting a need for public education regarding the general diets of raptors and the benefits of prompt medical attention.
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Vol. 48 • No. 2