Press Release
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Investigating Bald Eagle Shooting Near Athol, South Dakota

BISMARCK, N.D. – the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) is investigating the death of a bald eagle, which was shot near the town of Athol, South Dakota sometime before March 28th in Spink County. 

Bald eagles are protected by state and federal law, including the Migratory Bird Treaty Act and the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act. The shooting of any eagle is considered a violation of those acts, and is a serious offense.

Persons with information about this incident are encouraged to contact Special Agent Ken Dulik at 605-885-6403 (Service) or District Conservation Officer Tim McCurdy at 605-380-4572 (South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks). Callers do not have to identify themselves, and a reward may be available for information leading to a conviction.

Approximately 50,000 bald eagle pairs occupied the lower 48 states in pre-colonial times, but that number was reduced to 400 pairs by the 1960s. Biologists blamed a loss of habitat, shooting, trapping and the heavy use of pesticides such as DDT. After DDT was outlawed, bald eagles began making a comeback in the late 1980s and in June of 2007, it was removed from the federal list of endangered and threatened species.  This majestic bird, our national symbol, continues to need our help to survive, and your assistance is appreciated.

For more information on the bald eagle, please visit

The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, plants, and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. We are both a leader and trusted partner in fish and wildlife conservation, known for our scientific excellence, stewardship of lands and natural resources, dedicated professionals, and commitment to public service.

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