A dead wedge-tailed eagle has been found at Fingal with its feet cut off, prompting one bird-lover to speculate that they were taken as a "souvenir".
The eagle was discovered over the weekend, Craig Webb, of Raptor Refuge, said. "I think it was most probably [killed in] a motor vehicle accident but it was also found under power lines," he said.
Mr Webb, whose not-for-profit runs a hotline where people can report dead or injured birds of prey, said he wasn't necessarily shocked to see such brutality.
IN OTHER NEWS:
"I'm used to brain-dead rednecks out there," he said. "Because we get birds that have been shot and persecuted and what have you."
"Last year we had a couple of eagles that were shot. So I'm not surprised."
Mr Webb said there were strong laws in place to deter people from committing such crimes but they were "very tricky" to enforce "unless you catch them with a smoking gun".
The Tasmanian wedge-tailed eagle is classified as endangered under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act.
The total adult population has been estimated as less than 1000 birds. The primary threats to the species include loss of nesting habitat, nest disturbance, collisions with artificial structures, vehicles and aircraft, electrocution and persecution.
The eagle at Fingal was one of three found dead in Tasmania last weekend, Mr Webb said, with birds discovered at Swansea and Richmond, as well.
Mr Webb said Raptor Refuge had partnered with TasNetworks to ensure that further mitigation measures were being installed across the state's poles-and-wires network to limit eagle deaths.
"We knew 35 years ago what needed to be done, and it's taken this long - it's taken Raptor Refuge pushing to have this work done to make some small changes," he said.
TasNetworks acting chief executive Ross Burridge said the government business was "passionate about protecting Tasmania's iconic birds, which is why we've doubled our bird protection investment in recent years, and managed to almost halve the number of incidents".
"That's a big achievement, with more work to do," he said.
TasNetworks is investing $5 million over five years to install more than 260 kilometres of mitigation devices on infrastructure in high-risk areas to help prevent collisions and electrocutions.
In 2019-20, there were 18 known incidents involving TasNetworks infrastructure, 24 fewer than recorded in 2018-19.
- If you find an injured or deceased raptor in Tasmania, call the Raptor Rescue Hotline on 1800 727 867 (1800 RAPTOR).
What do you think? Send us a letter to the editor: