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The Mountain-Prairie Region


U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
134 Union Boulevard
Lakewood, Colorado 80228

Date: June 15, 1999
Steven Stoinski 303-274-3563
Karen Miranda Gleason 303-236-7917, x 431

Reward Offered in Eagle Killing Case

The Colorado Division of Wildlife and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service are offering a reward of up to $1,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person who shot and killed a golden eagle near Carbondale in mid- to late March. Killing a golden eagle is a violation of the Eagle Protection Act and the Migratory Bird Treaty Act.

The adult eagle, one of a breeding pair in the area, was discovered in late March along Thompson Creek Road, about 9 miles southwest of Carbondale, near the Snowmass Coal Mine. The site is frequently used for target shooting, said Kevin Wright, the Division’s District Wildlife Manager, who picked up the bird after a call from a Colorado Department of Transportation worker. The eagle died of a single rifle shot and had been dead for about a week, said Wright.

Several days after the dead bird was found, Wright and a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service agent observed another golden eagle circling directly above the site. Although he doesn’t know for sure, Wright suspects this lone eagle could have been the other half of the breeding pair -- the dead bird’s mate.

"There’s no way this killing could have been an accident," said Wright. "From the angle of the shot, it appears the eagle was perched when it was killed." Other evidence of a deliberate shooting was found, but wildlife officials are withholding these details in order to verify information reported about the crime.

Anyone with information about the shooting is encouraged to call the Colorado Division of Wildlife at (970) 947-2920, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service at 303-274-3560, or the Operation Game Thief hotline at 1-800-332-4155. Callers may remain anonymous.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is the principal Federal agency responsible for conserving, protecting, and enhancing fish and wildlife and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. The Service manages the 93-million-acre National Wildlife Refuge System comprising more than 500 national wildlife refuges, thousands of small wetlands, and other special management areas. It also operates 66 national fish hatcheries 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 wildlife agencies.

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