Authorities have recovered the carcasses of 136 wedge-tailed eagles from farmland properties in eastern Victoria.
The eagles were hidden throughout the properties in east Gippsland, along with the remains of four other protected bird species, the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) said.
Manager of DELWP’s Intelligence and Investigations Unit, Iain Bruce, said there are believed to be more carcasses still hidden.
“The animals were hidden throughout property in bushland and scrub, with no single point of disposal and we believe that the numbers may be higher than what have been seized,” Mr Bruce said.
DELWP believes it is unlikely wild dog baiting would be responsible for the deaths.
A person had come forward and is assisting authorities with enquiries, but no charges have been laid as yet.
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Wedge-tailed eagles are protected under the Wildlife Act 1975. Deliberate killing of the birds carries a maximum penalty of $7928.50 and/or up to six months’ jail, and an additional penalty of $792.85 for each bird destroyed.
Anyone with information is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or use the Crime Stoppers online reporting page.