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Maryland’s Only Known Breeding Northern Goshawk And Chicks Found Dead

Sportsmen Foundation offers reward for perpetrator of incomprehensible crime against nature

Grantsville, Md. (June 22, 2011) — 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. Evidence supports that 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.

“This is a symbol of Maryland’s last remaining wild places,” said Jonathan McKnight, who manages DNR’s non-game wildlife programs. “Why someone would kill this amazing and beautiful animal is difficult to comprehend.”

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.

“We were excited to see a thriving breeding pair in Maryland after four years without any record of nesting, despite repeated searches of former nesting areas,” said DNR Biologist Dave Brinker who found the remains. “This was our only known breeding pair of goshawks, which makes this incident just that much more heartbreaking.”

Scientists can accurately monitor these and other rare deep-forest birds because of funding from public donations to the Chesapeake Bay and Endangered Species tax check off box on Maryland’s tax returns.

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). “Maryland’s sportsmen have no tolerance for this act of vandalism against nature,” said Foundation Chair David Sutherland.

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.

   June 22, 2011

Contact: Josh Davidsburg
410-260-8002 office I 410-507-7526 cell

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources is the state agency responsible for providing natural and living resource-related services to citizens and visitors. DNR manages nearly a half-million acres of public lands and 17,000 miles of waterways, along with Maryland's forests, fisheries and wildlife for maximum environmental, economic and quality of life benefits. A national leader in land conservation, DNR-managed parks and natural, historic and cultural resources attract 11 million visitors annually. DNR is the lead agency in Maryland's effort to restore the Chesapeake Bay, the state's number one environmental priority. Learn more at