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August 2, 2010

Reward Offered in Piping Plover Egg Theft in New Hampshire

The Humane Society of the United States and The Humane Society Wildlife Land Trust are offering a reward of up to $2,500 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for stealing a clutch of piping plover eggs from Hampton Beach State Park in New Hampshire. This offer adds to an existing U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service reward of $2,500 for information leading into an arrest, criminal conviction, civil penalty assessment or forfeiture of property in the case.

The Case:

According to U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, four piping plover eggs were stolen the night of May 6 or the morning of May 7. Witnesses reported seeing a possible suspect in the area who is described as a white male in his late 40s to mid-50s, about 5'10," with a thin build and grayish, salt-and-pepper hair. He was driving a gold or tan Toyota, possibly a Camry or Corolla.

"This is a serious crime and an affront to the recovery of the species," said Joanne Bourbeau, New Hampshire senior state director for The HSUS. "The Humane Society of the United States thanks the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the New Hampshire Department of Fish and Game for investigating this case."

Piping plover shorebirds are listed as endangered by the state of New Hampshire and are listed as threatened by the federal government. Tampering with their nests is a violation of state and federal law. If these actions were intentional, those responsible could face up to $25,000 in fines and up to 6 months in prison per egg stolen.

This nest was one of only four in the entire state of New Hampshire. Biologists had set up a protective fence around the eggs to keep predators away.

Poaching:

  • Poaching is a broad term that includes any violation of wildlife protection laws, including tampering with the nests of protected species.
  • Wildlife officials estimate that for every wild animal killed legally — tens of millions of animals per year — another is killed illegally.
  • Every year, thousands of poachers are arrested nationwide; however, it is estimated that only 1 percent to 5 percent of poached animals are ever discovered by law enforcement.
  • Poachers kill wildlife anytime, anywhere and sometimes do so in particularly cruel ways. Officials report that poachers are often involved in other forms of illegal activity.
  • The HSUS works with state and federal wildlife agencies to offer rewards of $2,500 for information leading to arrest and conviction of suspected poachers.

The Investigators:

Anyone with information about this case is asked to call The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Office of Law Enforcement at (617) 889-6616. Callers may remain anonymous.

The HSUS works to stop poaching across the country. Visit humanesociety.org/poaching for more information.

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The Humane Society of the United States is the nation's largest animal protection organization — backed by 11 million Americans, or one of every 28. For more than a half-century, The HSUS has been fighting for the protection of all animals through advocacy, education and hands-on programs. Celebrating animals and confronting cruelty — On the Web at humanesociety.org.

Follow The HSUS on Twitter. See our work for animals on your iPhone by searching "HumaneTV" in the App Store.

Since 1993 the Humane Society Wildlife Land Trust, alone or in partnership with other conservation groups, has participated in the protection of more than 1.8 million acres of wildlife habitat in 37 states, including 915 in New Hampshire, and eight foreign countries. On all properties owned by the Trust or protected by the Trust's conservation easement, both here and abroad, we prohibit recreational and commercial hunting and trapping and restrict logging and development. The Trust's commitment to these principles will never change as we continue to assist caring landowners to make their property permanent, safe homes for wildlife. Join our online community at wildlifelandtrust.org.

 Follow the Humane Society Wildlife Land Trust on Twitter.

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