The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is investigating the shooting of an endangered California condor found in Hollister, according to authorities who are offering a $5,000 reward for information.
The condor was found deceased in July 2022 on private property directly off Lone Tree Road in Hollister. The service’s Wildlife Forensics Laboratory conducted a necropsy and determined the cause of death to be trauma from a gunshot wound, says a press release from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
Anyone with information about the shooting of this condor can contact the service’s Office of Law Enforcement in Sacramento, at 916.569.8478, or email Special Agent Victoria Van Duzer at Victoria_Vanduz[email protected]. Callers with information may remain anonymous.
Federal authorities are offering a reward up to $5,000 for information leading to the conviction of the person or persons responsible for the shooting of this condor, says the Sept. 5 press release.
California condors were listed as endangered in 1967. In the 1980s, California condor numbers reached a low of only 23 individuals worldwide. Intensive recovery and reintroduction efforts over the past three decades have brought the California condor population up to approximately 400 individuals, says the press release.
California condors are protected by the Endangered Species Act and the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. Taking, shooting, injuring or killing a condor are violations of these acts. The maximum penalty for a criminal violation of the Endangered Species Act is one year in jail and a $100,000 fine per individual (or $200,000 per organization).
The Migratory Bird Treaty Act carries maximum penalties ranging from six months to one year in jail and fines up to $250,000 per individual, depending on whether an individual is convicted of a misdemeanor or a felony, says the release.