STANDISH (CBS13) – Authorities say they’re investigating what they believe is the largest raptor poaching case in California history.
According to a release from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, officers recently got an anonymous tip from someone who said they saw a man killing a hawk near the Lassen County town of Standish.
A wildlife officer investigated and soon found nine dead raptors.
Working on a search warrant, more officers descended on the 80-acre private property over the weekend and made a massive discovery of dead raptors.
In total, Fish and Wildlife says officers discovered 126 dead raptors – plus the original 9 first found. Most of the birds look to be red tail hawks.
“The local raptor population may take years to recover from these killings,” said David Bess, CDFW Deputy Director and Chief of the Law Enforcement Division, in a statement.
Officers also found two dead bobcats and a taxidermied mountain lion, plus other non-game birds.
The property owner, 67-year-old Richard Parker, has been booked into Lassen County jail. He’s facing multiple poaching charges.
Fish and Wildlife staff are still working to identify the species of all the birds found.