The Guardia Civil are investigating a 46-year-old hunter from Archidona, suspected of shooting an eagle (Bonelli’s) in a private hunting preserve in Loja.
This kind of bird is a protected species, listed in the Catálogo Andaluz de Especies Amenazadas; i.e., an endangered species whose survival is threatened by extinction.
The death of this particular bird, which was tagged and had a GPS device, was reported on the 27th of August by the Grupo de Rehabilitación de la Fauna Autóctona y su Hábitat (GREFA). It had been given the name Nicasio when it was tagged in its nest as a chick on the 7th of May.
GREFA reported the bird missing because its GPS locator put it motionless in the water of an arm of the Pantano de Iznájar. A Seprona patrol investigated and found instead of the bird, just its GPS tag. The police then set about tracing its movements between 11.53h and 12.23h on the 27th of August, which placed it over a hunting preserve (coto de caza). Investigating on the ground they found two places where feathers matching this kind of bird were found; one right next to a firing positions and the other next to where hunters park their cars.
Before long the environmental police had come up with the identity of the hunter and he, upon realising that he had been rumbled, reported to the police station voluntarily to admit to the shooting. He said that it had been accidental and when he found the GPS locator on the dead bird, he removed it, threw it into the reservoir and dumped the body into a rubbish hopper.
(News: Loja, Poniente de Granada, Andalucia)