Lassen County Calif.-- California Wildlife officers, from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) have uncovered what could be the largest raptor poaching case known in California history.
Officers working in the Lassen County area received an anonymous tip from someone reporting witnessing a man killing a hawk near the town of Standish.
After conducting surveillance, officers visited a private property and discovered nine dead raptors.
With this evidence they were able to obtain a search warrant for the property.
With a search warrant, and a CDFW K-9 officers discovered an extraordinary number of raptor carcasses, other dead birds and wildlife, as well as spent rifle casings on the 80 acre property.
Officers were able to find more that 140 potential state and/or federal violations.
In addition to finding the nine birds, they found 126 dead raptors all in different stages of decay, at least one dead owl, two dead bobcats, and one taxidermied mountain lion all suspected to be unlawfully taken.
The property owner Richard Parker, 67 years old was booked into Lassen County Jail on multiple charges including take of birds of prey, take of migratory nongame birds designated by the Federal Migratory Bird Treaty Act, take of other nongame birds, and possession of wildlife unlawfully taken.
Raptors, the top bird predators in the food chain serve an important role in the ecosystem.
According to CDFW the number of birds poached on the 80-acre property will undoubtedly affect the raptor population in the area.
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