Remote plane owner accused of attacking eagle
Authorities are investigating an alleged toy-plane attack on a native bird in Tasmania's northwest.
DPIPWE says it's received reports of a remote-controlled plane being flown at a juvenile white-bellied sea eagle in the Don River area near Devonport on Sunday afternoon.
Manager of Policy, Advice and Regulatory Services Andrew Crane says that particular vulnerable species is known to interact with flying objects, often with fatal consequences.
"Eagles are territorial and will defend their territory from threats, but they can also be easily spooked by model aircraft as well,” he said.
Amendments to Tasmania's Threatened Species Legislation in 2018 upped the maximum penalty for the offence to $100,000 and/or one year in jail, after several incidents involving the deliberate killing of eagles.
"Based on eyewitness accounts this would appear to be a clear case of someone using a model plane to chase a young white-bellied sea eagle, potentially severely injuring or killing that bird," Mr Crane said.
"This is a serious offence and we would welcome anyone with more information to come forward. Information can be provided anonymously either to our hotline on 0417 661 234 or to Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000."