White-tailed eagle shot: Hunters from Salzwedel sentenced to a fine

Committee Against Bird Slaughter e.V. und LIFE EUROKITE


+++ 27. JUNE 2023 +++

Salzwedel. A hunter from the Altmark district of Salzwedel (Saxony-Anhalt) was sentenced to a fine of 1,800 euros (90 daily rates of 20 euros each) by the Salzwedel district court for killing a strictly protected white-tailed eagle. His hunting license was also confiscated. The Stendal public prosecutor saw it as proven that the man killed the rare bird of prey on February 24, 2022 with a hunting rifle in his territory and took it home. The verdict was made by way of a penal order and is now final.

The suspect's fate was a GPS transmitter attached to the eagle, with the data from which bird researchers were able to track the dead bird to the hunter's house. "When the man noticed the device the day after the crime, he tried to cover up the crime, he attached the transmitter to a piece of wood and threw it into a river,” says Mag. Rainer Raab from the LIFE EUROKITE project, which tagged the eagle as a young animal and has been tracking it in real time ever since. Both the transmitter and the dead bird were later found and secured as evidence.

We welcome the fact that the judiciary has sent a clear signal against wildlife crime with 90 daily rates. Even if the total amount of the fine imposed is disproportionate to the damage done to nature, we hope that this will deter other perpetrators,” says biologist Marvin Fehn from the Committee Against Bird Slaughter, which reported the case together with LIFE EUROKITE and made it public. As the association reports, it is the first time in Germany that a perpetrator has been identified with the help of transmitter data and has been convicted. Fehn: "We would like to thank the police, district administration and judiciary for the speedy processing and punishment of the crime".

The illegal persecution of protected birds of prey with traps, poison and firearms is widespread in Germany. According to the nationwide registration and documentation center for the persecution of birds of prey and crime against endangered species (EDGAR), more than 1,716 cases with more than 2,384 victims, including 70 white-tailed eagles, were reported in Germany between 2005 and 2022. The most recent cases are the targeted poisoning of a white-tailed eagle in the district of Peine (Lower Saxony) in April 2023 and the shooting of a white-tailed eagle in the district of Coesfeld (NRW) in March 2023. These two birds could also only be found and examined because they were wearing GPS transmitters . “The number of unreported acts of this kind is extremely high. "We assume that for every proven case there will be at least 20 undiscovered circumstances," says Mag. Rainer Raab.

Press contact:

Committee Against Bird Slaughter e.V.: Dipl.-Biol. Axel Hirschfeld (public relations officer):
0049 228 665521,

Project LIFE EUROKITE (LIFE18 NAT/AT/000048): Mag. Dr. Rainer Raab (Technical Manager): 0043 664 4527563,


Found carcass and X-ray image of the white-tailed eagle with shotgun pellets in the body.