Graduation Year


Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Reader 1

Professor Donald McFarlane

Reader 2

Professor Elise Ferree

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Wildlife rehabilitation centers provide key insights into wild animal population health and have important impacts on education, public policy, and awareness around conservation. Alturas Wildlife Sanctuary, in Dominical, Costa Rica, cares for a small collection of non-releasable permanent residents and has treated animals of at least 187 different species. For cases in which animals do not survive, necropsies allow for in-depth study of conditions and physiology, and aid in veterinary diagnosis and treatment. This study used both clinic records and necropsy data to analyze factors influencing outcomes and to evaluate patterns in fatal conditions. Intake reasons were found to be associated with different injury types and taxonomic orders, which contribute to mortality and outcome rates based on their severity, physiology, and the treatment required. Taxonomic order and primary condition have significant impacts on survival within some, but not all, intake reasons, suggesting that other factors may play more important roles in some cases. Patterns in necropsy data show similar pathology in animals struck by cars, which may aid in treatment and triage processes. Low sample sizes meant that necropsies of other intake reasons were primarily useful for individual diagnoses and identified few clear patterns.

This thesis is restricted to the Claremont Colleges current faculty, students, and staff.