All posts by korr2013

Lassen County Raptor Poacher Convicted

The largest raptor poaching case in known California history has ended in a conviction in Lassen County, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) announced.

Richard Parker, 68, of Standish pled guilty to crimes associated with poaching in excess of 150 raptors and other wildlife on his rural Lassen County property. He was sentenced to 90 days in jail and given a $75,000 fine and five years of probation. Probation terms include full search authority, prohibitions on possessing firearms, hunting and fishing, and a requirement to obey all laws. The two firearms used during the commission of the crimes were ordered destroyed by the court.

wildlife officers conducting investigation.JPG

In March 2018, wildlife officers assigned to Lassen County received an anonymous tip from someone who reportedly witnessed a man killing a hawk near the town of Standish. The wildlife officer conducted covert surveillance of the suspect, then visited the private property and discovered nine dead raptors. The entire local Lassen/Plumas County Wildlife Officer squad later returned to the property with a search warrant. A search of the home and 80-acre property turned up more than 150 carcasses of protected birds and other wildlife in various states of decay, along with spent rifle casings. Most of the birds were red-tailed hawks, but several other species of hawks, other nongame birds and an owl were found. Four of the birds were migratory ferruginous hawks, which are uncommon in the area. Officers also located two dead bobcats and one taxidermied mountain lion, all of which were suspected to be unlawfully taken.

A CDFW wildlife veterinarian and avian specialist analyzed the first nine carcasses collected. However, investigators sent the majority of the carcasses to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Forensics Laboratory in Ashland, Ore., where wildlife forensic scientists meticulously necropsied 159 samples to determine cause of death. The 400-page necropsy report significantly contributed to the Deputy Attorney General’s ability to effectively prosecute the case.

Dead birds at bottom of roost

 

“We are pleased to work with the California Attorney General’s Office, as well as CDFW’s Office of General Counsel, to put this egregious poacher out of business,” said David Bess, CDFW Deputy Director and Chief of the Law Enforcement Division. “The case came together as a result of collaboration of our local wildlife officers and laboratory and wildlife biology staff from the state and federal governments.”

“Poaching is not a game, it’s a serious crime,” said Attorney General Xavier Becerra. “Richard Parker willfully and egregiously disregarded California law to kill protected wildlife, including hawks. To anyone who breaks our laws for illegal sport, know that we will prosecute and hold you accountable.”

CDFW also expresses appreciation to Lassen County District Attorney Melyssah Rios for her contribution to the monumental effort put forth to bring this case to closure.

The case developed from a tip originating with a member of the public who saw something amiss. Anyone who believes they are witness to unlawful poaching or pollution activity is encouraged to call CalTIP, CDFW’s confidential secret witness program, at (888) 334-2258 or send a text with the tip411 app. Both methods allow the public to provide wildlife officers with factual information to assist with investigations. Callers may remain anonymous, if desired, and a reward can result from successful capture and prosecution.

Media Contacts:
Capt. Patrick Foy, CDFW Law Enforcement, (916) 508-7095
Lt. Kyle Kroll, CDFW Law Enforcement, (530) 575-5736

 

CDFW to Hold Public Meeting on North Central Region Type A Wildlife Areas

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) will hold its annual public outreach meeting on Saturday, April 27 in Gridley regarding North Central Region Type A wildlife areas. CDFW will take comments and recommendations from the public and provide updates on habitat conditions, availability of water for wetlands and possible impacts to hunter access on these public lands.

The state wildlife areas to be discussed are the Gray Lodge Wildlife Area and the Upper Butte Basin Wildlife Area Complex (Little Dry Creek Unit, Howard Slough Unit and Llano Seco Unit). The meeting is scheduled from 1 to 3 p.m. in the Gray Lodge Wildlife Area’s main office conference room, 3207 Rutherford Road, in Gridley.

CDFW’s North Central Region covers all or part of 17 counties in northern California and is one of seven CDFW regions in the state.

CDFW annually provides an opportunity for licensed hunters to comment and make recommendations on public hunting programs, including anticipated habitat conditions in the hunting areas on wildlife areas, through public meetings and other outreach.

Media Contacts:
Tim Hermansen, Upper Butte Basin Wildlife Area, (530) 982-2169
Dave Van Baren, Gray Lodge Wildlife Area, (530) 846-7500
Kyle Orr, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8958

CDFW to Meet with Public, Sell Licenses and Warden Stamps at Del Mar Fred Hall Show

Del Mar-area residents can purchase 2019 licenses, validations and report cards, as well as 2019 Warden Stamps, directly from California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) staff at the 43rd Del Mar Fred Hall Show scheduled next week at the Del Mar Fairgrounds in Del Mar (San Diego County). Warden stamp sales help fund CDFW’s K-9 program and support purchases of enforcement equipment.

The show will be open from noon to 8 p.m. on Thursday, March 28 and on Friday, March 29. On Saturday, March 30, the show runs from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and on Sunday, March 31, the show is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Attendees can learn how to become a wildlife officer by speaking with CDFW wildlife officers at the law enforcement trailer. The trailer features fish and wildlife mounts, and a free laser-shot activity.

Attendees can also learn about historic fish-stocking procedures as a restored 1925 Dodge truck once used by CDFW for transporting hatchery fish will be on display, along with a modern fish-transporting truck. Also featured will be information on CDFW’s Fishing in the City and hatchery programs, and a free youth fishing pond stocked with rainbow trout provided by CDFW.

Admission is $15 for adults, $13 for seniors 62 and older, or $10 for military with ID (available only at the ticket window). Children under 16 with a paid adult are free.

For more information, please visit www.fredhall.com.

Media Contact:
Kyle Orr, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8958

CDFW to Sell Licenses and Warden Stamps, Meet with Public at Long Beach Fred Hall Show

Long Beach-area residents can purchase their 2019 licenses, validations and report cards, as well as 2019 Warden Stamps directly from California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) staff at the 73rd annual Long Beach Fred Hall Show scheduled this week at the Long Beach Convention and Entertainment Center. Warden stamps sales help fund CDFW’s K-9 program and support purchases of enforcement equipment.

CDFW leaders will participate in a discussion panel followed by a question and answer session. Participants will include law enforcement personnel and Dr. Craig Shuman, Marine Region Manager, who will provide an overview of current natural resource and conservation topics and take questions from the public on a variety of issues. The panel discussion is scheduled Friday, March 8, at 3 p.m. in the Mammoth Lakes Seminar Theater. Pete Gray, host of the radio show “Let’s Talk Hook Up,” will be the moderator.

“The annual Fred Hall Shows provide an exciting opportunity for Southern California anglers and outdoor enthusiasts to interact with our scientists, wildlife officers and other staff to get their questions answered and learn about the wide range of recreational opportunities California has to offer,” said Shuman.

The show will be open from 1 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Wednesday, March 6, Thursday, March 7, and Friday, March 8. On Saturday, March 9, the show runs from 10 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. and on Sunday, March 10, the show is open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Attendees can learn how to become a wildlife officer by speaking with CDFW wildlife officers at the law enforcement trailer. The trailer features fish and wildlife mounts, and a free laser-shot activity. Attendees can also learn about historic fish-stocking procedures as a restored 1925 Dodge truck once used by CDFW for transporting hatchery fish will be on display, along with a modern fish-transporting truck. Also featured will be information on CDFW’s Fishing in the City and hatchery programs, and a free youth fishing pond stocked with rainbow trout provided by CDFW.

Unfortunately, the Great American Duck Races will not be a feature of the Long Beach show due to an order by the State Veterinarian instituting a quarantine on birds for much of Southern California.

Admission at the Long Beach Fred Hall Show is $18 for adults, $16 for seniors 62 and older, or $13 for military with ID (available only at the ticket window). Children under 15 with a paid adult are free.

CDFW will also have staff at two other Fred Hall Shows scheduled this month — March 15-17 at the Kern County Fairgrounds in Bakersfield and March 28-31 at the Del Mar Fairgrounds in Del Mar (San Diego County).

For more information, please visit www.fredhall.com.

Media Contact:
Kyle Orr, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8958

 

 

CDFW Confirms Increase of Canine Distemper Virus in Wild Foxes in Siskiyou County

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) has recently seen an increased number of confirmed and suspect cases of canine distemper virus (CDV) in wild gray foxes in the Mount Shasta and Scott Valley areas in Siskiyou County.

Most of California’s carnivore species are susceptible to CDV, with gray foxes, skunks and other mustelids also being highly susceptible. CDV is not transmissible to humans.

CDV is transmitted among carnivores by contact with oral, respiratory and ocular fluids and other body fluids (feces and urine) containing the virus. Animals with the virus may not show clinical signs but can still spread the virus for up to 90 days. Although infections in domestic dogs have been reduced through vaccination, infected dogs that have contact with or share food with wild carnivores can transmit the virus to wildlife. The virus also spreads among wild carnivores and mostly affects susceptible young animals. Distemper can cause respiratory, neurologic and gastrointestinal illness in foxes. Clinical signs include, but are not limited to, depression, fever, respiratory distress, diarrhea, anorexia, incoordination, moving in small circles, yellow to clear discharge from the nose and eyes, and crusting on the nose, eyes, mouth or footpads. There is no treatment for sick animals except supportive care. Infected gray foxes may or may not survive the illness.

If you find a sick or injured fox:

  • Please contact the nearest permitted rehabilitation facility. The closest facility for Siskiyou County is Shasta Wildlife Rescue and Rehabilitation, located in Anderson. Call (530) 365-9453 and leave a message on their hotline and the fox rehabilitator will get back to you promptly, usually within two hours.
  • If human or animal safety is perceived to be at risk from a sick fox, call the California State Parks Northern Dispatch at (916) 358-1300 for CDFW assistance in humanely dispatching the animal.

If you are bitten or scratched by a fox:

  • Call the County of Siskiyou Environmental Health Division at (530) 841-2100. Neurologic signs of CDV may not be distinguishable from rabies virus infection, which is a public health risk.

If you find a dead fox:

CDFW encourages the public to remove domestic pet food from outside their home (especially at night), and to not feed wildlife or allow them contact with domestic animals. Domestic dogs and cats should receive vaccinations for rabies, distemper and other common diseases as directed by a veterinarian.

For questions regarding distemper in wildlife or concerns about sick animals, contact CDFW’s Wildlife Investigations Laboratory at (916) 358-2790 or CDFW Wildlife Biologist Christine Found-Jackson at (530) 841-2278.

Media Contacts:
Christine Found-Jackson, CDFW Northern Region, (530) 841-2278
Kyle Orr, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8958