Conserving the Nature of America

News Release

Nearly 200 Birds Killed, Then Dumped Near Delaware City: Reward Offered

February 17, 2006


Division of Public Affairs
External Affairs
Telephone: 703-358-2220

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Someone killed nearly 200 migratory game birds -- scaup and bufflehead ducks and Canada geese -- and dumped them along a dirt road at the Chesapeake & Delaware Canal near Delaware City, Del., according to U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Special Agent Daniel Collins of Dover. The Service is offering a reward for information about the incident.

"Killing and dumping these birds is a senseless waste of our valuable wildlife resources. Were seeking assistance from the public to find out what happened," said Collins.

An individual contacted the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control Fish and Wildlife Enforcement Section on Jan. 31 to report finding the birds, according to Collins.

; The Service is offering a reward of up to $1,000 for information leading to the conviction of those responsible for violating federal hunting regulations. Anyone with information should contact Collins at 302/730-9184 or Delaware Operation Game Theft at 1-800/292-3030. Callers may remain anonymous.


Collins said hunters may have killed the birds. The birds were likely attracted to bait, including whole kernel corn, which a state law enforcement agent found in some of the birds crops. The birds could have been killed elsewhere -- perhaps in Maryland near the end of the waterfowl season -- and moved to Delaware.

; Killing birds out of season, while a violation of state law, is a misdemeanor under the federal Migratory Bird Treaty Act and carries penalties of six months in jail and up to a $15,000 fine. If someone moved illegally taken wildlife across state lines or international borders, the individual also could be charged under the federal Lacey Act, which carries misdemeanor penalties of one year in jail and $100,000.

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 545 national wildlife refuges, thousands of small wetlands and other special management areas. It also operates 69 national fish hatcheries, 64 fishery resources 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 and Native American tribal governments with their conservation efforts. It also oversees the Federal Assistance program, which distributes hundreds of millions of dollars in excise taxes on fishing and hunting equipment to state fish and wildlife agencies.


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