Bald Eagle Poisonings in Maryland

source: ABC News

Seven bald eagles and a great horned owl have been found dead along the eastern shore of Maryland in recent months, and officials say the deaths might be linked to the intentional poisoning of “nuisance” animals like foxes and raccoons.

The poisonings were “consistent with the suspected on-going and intentional poisoning of foxes, raccoons and other nuisance animals in the area,” the Maryland Department of Natural Resources said in a statement.

Officials said they believe the incidents “are related as a result of unknown persons placing baits laced with carbofuran, one of the most toxic carbamate pesticides, in fields, along woods lines and even directly into fox dens.” Whoever set the baits “did it so recklessly” that the poison was likely left out in the open, where any animal or person might have come across it, the statement said. Carbofuran — sold to consumers as Furadan — was blamed for millions of bird deaths each year until the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency banned the granular form of the pesticide in 1991, it said.

“Eagles probably are not the primary target of the poisoning. However, Furadan is so toxic that the eagles are secondarily poisoned after feeding on the poisoned primary target.” 

Wildlife officials

“It is hard to believe that not one person has information of persons placing a toxic poison that has killed no fewer than twenty eagles in these areas. The only way this stops is if the local communities come forward with information.”

Jay Pilgrim
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Calamity Jane