Thursday, June 23, 2011

Northern Goshawk Killed in Maryland

The remains of a female Northern Goshawk were found on June 17 by a Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Biologist in the Savage River State Forest, near Grantsville, Maryland.

Apparently the female was shot and killed, leaving three orphaned chicks in the nest to die. This was Maryland’s only known nesting goshawk, a State listed endangered species.

“Why someone would kill this amazing and beautiful animal is difficult to comprehend” said Jonathan McKnight, who manages DNR’s non-game wildlife programs.

The Northern Goshawk is a large, powerful and secretive forest raptor or bird of prey. Goshawks were driven out of Maryland in the early 1900s by extensive timber harvesting, but returned in 2001 because of improved forest habitat. This would have been Maryland’s first successful goshawk nest recorded since 2006.

The Maryland Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus is offering a $1,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the responsible person(s).

The Natural Resources Police (NRP) are asking for the publics’ help in identifying the person or persons responsible for this crime. The investigation has determined that the hawk was shot between May 16 and June 17 in the Savage River State Forest near Westernport Road and McAndrews Hill Road.

If anyone has information about this crime or description of individuals or vehicles seen in the area, please call the Catch-a-poacher hotline at 800-635-6124. Callers may remain anonymous and are eligible for reward money.

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