FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 5, 2001
The U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service, along with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and numerous non-governmental organizations, are together offering a reward of up to $6,500 for information regarding the destruction of a bald eagle nest in Collier County, Florida.
While preliminary information indicated the nest was lost as a result of tropical storm Gabrielle, further investigation attributes it to human-induced causes. The nest is protected under the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act, and federal penalties for taking a bald eagle or bald eaglenest include fines of up to $100,000 and/or up to one year in prison. The eagles nesting there had produced seven young over the last five years andthe pair have continued efforts to reestablish a nest at the same location, adjacent to Vanderbilt Drive north of Wiggins Pass, since the removal of the original nest on or around September 14, 2001.
The Fish and Wildlife Service is contributing up to $3,500 to the reward; the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is contributing up to $1,000; the American Eagle Foundation is contributing $1,000; the National Audubon Society and the Collier County Audubon Society are contributing $500; and $500 is being provided by the Collier Estuary Conservation Association.
Persons having information related to the nest destruction may contact the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Southwest Florida office for the Division of Law Enforcement at (941) 561-8144 or the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission Wildlife Alert toll-free number at 1-800-404-FWCC (1 800-404-3922).
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is the principal federal agency responsible for conserving, protecting and enhancing fish, wildlife and plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. The Service manages the 94-million-acre National Wildlife Refuge System that encompasses more than 535 national wildlife refuges, thousands of small wetlands and other special management areas. It also operates 70 national fish hatcheries, 64 fishery resource offices and 78 ecological services field stations. The agency enforces federal wildlife laws, administers the Endangered Species Act, manages migratory bird populations, restores nationally significant fisheries, conserves and restores wildlife habitat such as wetlands, and helps foreign governments with their conservation efforts. It also oversees the Federal Aid program that distributes hundreds of millions of dollars in excise taxes on fishing and hunting equipment to state fish and wildlife agencies.
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