Scott Flaherty (USFWS) 916-978-6156
Jordan Traverso (DFG) 916-654-9937
State and federal wildlife investigators are requesting the public’s help in finding those responsible for the recent shooting of two California condors.
On March 10, an adult male condor known as 286 was found by biologists with the Ventana Wildlife Society in Monterey County with wounds from buckshot. On March 26, in the same area, a juvenile female condor known as 375 was found with buckshot pellets in her wing and thigh. The two condors are among only 86 living in the wild in California. California condors are protected species under the state and federal Endangered Species Acts, and the federal Migratory Bird Treaty Act.
“These senseless shootings are chipping away at the great strides we have made toward restoring these majestic birds from the brink of extinction,” said Special Agent in Charge Paul Chang of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. “We will follow up on any credible information we receive identifying the individual or individuals responsible for this act."
Both birds are alive and are undergoing treatment for lead poisoning at the Los Angeles Zoo.
“True sportsmen and women do not randomly or intentionally harm protected species,” said California Department of Fish and Game Chief of Enforcement Nancy Foley. “Whoever is doing this needs to be stopped. Any information about these shootings will help us prosecute for this egregious crime and will further protect this rare California species.”
The shootings have prompted rewards from local groups totaling $45,500 for information resulting in the arrest and conviction of the shooter or shooters. Included in that total is a new $5,000 reward offer from the CalTIP Citizen's Review Board. Groups pledging rewards include the Ventana Wildlife Society, Wendy P. McCaw Foundation, Center for Biological Diversity, Defenders of Wildlife and the Humane Society of the United States.
Anyone with information about the shootings should contact the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Office of Law Enforcement at 916-414-6660 or the California Department of Fish and Game CalTip Hotline 1-888-334-2258 (1-888-DFG-CALTIP).
Penalties for violating the federal Endangered Species Act include up to one year confinement and $100,000 fine. Violations of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act carry penalties of up to six months confinement and $15,000 fine.