REWARD offered in Salamanca bald eagle shooting

Submitted by Seneca Nation Fish and Wildlife

Eagles are important spiritual and cultural birds for the Seneca people. They represent the power, beauty, and freedom of nature. This senseless act should never have happened and those responsible should not be excused for their actions. The Seneca Nation pledges our full support and cooperation to the agencies who continue to investigate this crime and their efforts to bring people to justice. We hope that anyone with information that can assist the investigation will come forward. — President Rickey L. Armstrong, Sr.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is offering a reward of up to $5,000 to eligible individuals for information that significantly furthers this investigation or leads to enforcement action against the person(s) who shot a bald eagle while it was perched in a tree along the Allegany River, off Old Route 17 in the Red House area, across the river from Herons (Cattaraugus County).

On November 20, 2019, Seneca Nation Fish and Wildlife received a complaint about a large bird that was seen dead at the top of a tree along the Allegany River off Old Route17. The use of a drone confirmed the bird was a bald eagle.

On November 26, 2019, Seneca Nation Fish and Wildlife, assisted by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, recovered the banded sub-adult female bald eagle carcass. Forensic examination determined the eagle’s cause of death was the result of a gunshot wound.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Seneca Nation of Indians are asking anyone with information about this incident to contact either Special Agent Ryan Bessey with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in Amherst, NY at (716) 691-3635, Conservation Manager Lawrence Becelia with the Seneca Nation Fish and Wildlife at (716) 945-2779, or 1-844-FWS-TIPS (397-8477).

Even though bald eagles are no longer listed under the Endangered Species Act, bald eagles are still federally protected by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act and the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act.

Maximum fines under these acts are $15,000 and $100,000 respectively with possible imprisonment up to one year.