Three Spanish Imperial Eagles Poisoned!

imperial-eagle3 Spanish Imperial Eagles Aquila adalberti have been killed by poison, from the pair near Isla Mayor, Doñana. The female and two chicks were found dead last week, the male is missing.
And the story gets even worse! We received this report from an investigative source and We quote: “…thank you for quick response. The horrible thing is that the poison was hidden in rabbits, which someone laid directly under the nest in the first days of July – the man knew what he did…”

As yet nobody has been caught. Right now they are searching for the male, hopefully he may have survived. We will let you know any news. Here at ABS we feel numbed by the ability and mentality of this kind of sub human behaviour. If caught the person could very well face an extremely hefty fine and/or even a jail term.

Truly shocking and most distressing news.The thing about this that surprises us most is the ‘total’ lack of publicity on this case (other than our posts here and on wildlife forums). Can you help to flag it up on such places as web sites and ask others to do the same. We find local silence on this most shocking news extremely suspicious.

Announcement / Statement
Ecologists in Action, WWF-Spain, SEO / BirdLife and Andalucia Bird Society (14/07/09)* reported poisoning of three imperial eagles in the Doñana Natural Area (15/07/09)

The Board of Andalusia is required to use all reasonable means and forceful actions to find and punish the guilty. On July 4 in the Doñana Natural Park 3 corpses were found poisoned, a female and her two chicks in the town of Aznalcázar (Seville). In addition, the male of the pair is missing since that date, it is suspected it might also have been a victim of poisoning.

According to the data accessed by the ecological associations, poison was relayed via a poisoned rabbit, which was used as bait to attract the adult eagles in the enclosed supplementary feeding area in the vicinity of the nest, where food is shipped in for meal times by the technicians of the Board of Andalusia for the eagles.

For the environmental associations, place and type of bait used is clear proof of intent to attack directly the imperial eagles nesting in Veta Ali. Given the seriousness of this, the environmental agencies require that both the government and police and state security forces should redouble their efforts to identify and make available for criminal trial those responsible.

This loss is a major blow to the population of imperial eagles in Doñana, which after years of significant declines and on the brink of extinction, had entered a recovery phase, reaching the 9-pairs, for which the couple Veta Ali was essential, as it was among the highest reproductive successes of the Doñana region, with 10 chicks raised in the past five years.

The ecological associations consider this poisoning, which clearly was directed only to remove the pair of imperial eagles in Veta Ali as both an eco-catastrophe, since it means losing a few of the 250 pairs that exist of imperial eagle in the world (and its genetic basis), as economically and socially, because you cannot forget that human and economic efforts are being devoted by the government to ensure the survival of the species endemic to the Iberian Peninsula.

Ecologists in Action, WWF-Spain, SEO / BirdLife and Andalucia Bird Society consider it as unacceptable the ease with which it was possible to access the area and put down poisoned bait, requiring the Ministry of Environment to institute greater efforts in preventive measures for the eradication of venom in Doñana and increased surveillance both inside and outside of protected natural areas. It also asks the prosecution to face an offence like this with due consideration to the seriousness of the crime, initiate the procedures required to clarify and, once aware of their responsibilities, ask for the maximum sentence for such an offence.

Environmental organizations are also called upon to cooperate with investigations and submit any information that may help to identify the person/s or organisations for this poisoning.

* First publicly announced by Andalucia Bird Society on the 14/07/09

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