East Tennessee Man Charged With Killing Protected Birds
April 21, 2004
Meigs County, Tennessee - Charles E. Barnes of Decatur, Tennessee, has been charged with poisoning protected migratory birds after officers of the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA) discovered a large number of wildlife carcasses on his land. Among the wildlife carcasses found near the site on February 2, 2004, were two hawks protected by the federal Migratory Bird Treaty Act.
The ensuing investigation revealed that, in an attempt to deter coyotes from taking his free roaming poultry, Barnes, illegally laced hamburger meat with an agricultural pesticide known as Furadan and placed the concoction around his property to kill the coyotes. Barnes said he did not know his actions would have a "domino effect" resulting in the deaths of many other animals feeding on the carcasses of those killed by the poison bait.
"This case is an unfortunate example of why toxic pesticides are very restricted in their use and method of application," said Steve Middleton, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Resident Agent in Charge, Law Enforcement, Nashville, Tennessee. "Those who attempt to control predators must realize that the consequences of illegal poisoning may, and likely will, result in the deaths of unintended targets such as hawks, eagles, and family or neighbors' pets. Furadan will kill anyone or anything that ingests it."
Furadan is a restricted use pesticide which is only legally used by a certified applicator. To use Furadan as a poison is a violation of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA).
In lieu of appearance in federal court, Barnes paid $2,500 in federal violation notices issued for the illegal taking of the migratory birds.
In addition to officers from TWRA, and Special Agents from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Tennessee Department of Agriculture and the Environmental Protection Agency participated in the investigation and recovery of poisoned wildlife carcasses.
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 95-million-acre National Wildlife Refuge System, which encompasses 544 national wildlife refuges, thousands of small wetlands and other special management areas. It also operates 69 national fish hatcheries, 64 fishery resource offices and 81 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.
All of these photos were taken by Chris Combs of Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency.
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