Information sought on rash of eagle shootings in southwestern South Dakota

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Farm Forum

DENVER – The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) and the South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks (SDGF&P) are seeking information on the shooting death of a two-year old male golden eagle found in southwestern Sully County, South Dakota. The golden eagle was radio collared and registered a “dead” signal as it was being tracked by Service Biologists out of Alaska. The golden eagle in its two year lifespan had traveled to the states of Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, through the Canadian Rocky Mountain Provinces and to Alaska and back before being shot and killed.

Service Agents retrieved the golden eagle on Jan. 29 after the mortality signal had been received earlier in the week. Within the last five weeks, three other eagles have been shot and killed within central South Dakota. The Service estimates that close to 1,000 golden eagles are shot illegally each year, and that this accounts for a substantial portion of mortality in the species.

Golden Eagles are protected by the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act and Migratory Bird Treaty Act. These birds are considered a declining species in many areas of the United States and indiscriminate killing like these recent shootings will only further imperil the species.

The Service is asking for the public’s help and is offering a monetary reward of up to $ 2,500 for information leading to the successful arrest and conviction of person (s) associated with the shooting of this and other eagles in South Dakota. You can remain anonymous.

If you have any information about this or any eagle shooting in South Dakota please contact the Service’s Pierre, South Dakota, Office of Law Enforcement at 605-224-9045 or as well as the SDGFP Turn In Poachers (TIPs) Hotline at 1-888-OVERBAG (1-888-683-7224) or online at

For general information about eagles, please contact Service Raptor Specialist Steve Lewis in Juneau, Alaska, at 907-780-1163 or by email (