CLARE PEDDIE – Adelaide Now
THE apparent fatal shooting of a white-bellied sea eagle has sickened environmentalists, who have raised serious concerns about the future of the endangered species.
The majestic bird’s carcass was found near Cape Bauer, on the state’s west coast over the Christmas period. It was taken to the South Australian Museum where a post-mortem examination found a likely bullet wound.
Friends of Sceale Bay convener Grant Hobson said the death was “sickening” and “disturbing”, and is offering a $500 reward for information leading to a conviction under the SA National Parks and Wildlife Act.
“This act is likely to have caused the death of the chicks she was hunting for at the time and ostracised the bird’s life partner, removing an active breeding pair from the diminishing pool of breeding pairs in SA and significantly impacting on the viability of this endangered species,” Mr Hobson said.
And the group’s convener Dave Kirner blamed sea-changers: “This event is evidence of the mounting pressure on this wilderness zone which will continue to increase as people come into the Streaky area, this is indeed the unchecked grubby underbelly of the sea change phenomena, I think most West Coast people today would be disgusted by this cowardly act,” Mr Kirner said.
He called for greater protection of threatened and endangered wildlife. “We don’t need any more tourist roads bulldozed into remote coastal cliff areas or houses given planning approval on clifftops and sand dunes what we need is an extended coastal marine park system encompassing the four bays in the area, we have been advocating this to state government now for three years,” he said.”This adult breeding female and her chick’s death is a sad reminder of the urgent need to protect our remaining endangered species and to properly manage their shrinking habitat.”
The group is calling for greater protection of threatened and endangered wildlife.
The Environment Department’s regional conservator for the West Region, Ross Belcher, is calling for information from the local community to help determine the circumstances that led to the killing of the bird.
Anyone who can help should call Mr Belcher at the DEH office in Port Lincoln on 8688 3111.