Up to 20 protected wedge-tailed eagles have been ‘possibly shot’ or poisoned and then dumped in parkland in Victoria.
The Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning says the latest discovery of four carcases in Black Range State Forest added to more than a dozen bodies found in the Yea area during the past few years.
‘‘Because of the location of the carcases, we believe that they have been intentionally destroyed, possibly shot,’’ department spokesman Leigh Murray said on Wednesday last week.
‘‘Last year we located eight eagles within a 25m radius of each other, that had been poisoned.’’
He said the nation’s largest bird of prey was sometimes a target for the threat it posed to newborn lambs.
But he said the eagles more often ate roadkill and other dead animals.
As the wedge-tailed eagle is a protected species, the penalties for hunting or destroying it can be up to six months in jail and a fine of almost $8000.
Information about those responsible can be provided anonymously to DELWP’s customer service hotline on 136186 or to Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.