Long-tailed duck is poached (killed) today (12 Jan 2017)

Dawn Garcia

Friends, it is with frustration that I share the news of the poaching of the long-tailed duck that many of us have seen since its discovery by Matt Forster and Diego Bustamante on the Oroville CBC Dec. 30 2016. We want to share this important message with evidence below. Poaching happens for "trophy" waterfowl. AND information of rare birds is looked for by poachers on FB and possibly list serves. Here is the message I got from the CDFW game warden I contacted after witnessing the killing:

"The duck was killed unlawfully on state park property. The poachers mount the rare ducks and collect bands as trophies, especially the GPS  collars on geese. I'm sure they heard about the duck through the grapevine, most likely Facebook.".

Carolyn Short and I were walking our dogs on the Brad Freeman trail today, Thursday 12 June and had a most lucky view of the duck on our side of the river at 10:54. I had binoculars. It flew across the river and we walked upstream and heard shots only 10 minutes later. I looked across and saw two poachers with a long-barreled gun, lots of floating white feathers and a floating duck. I yelled. They jumped in their standard-sized, extended cab white pick-up and left. We went around to Cherokee Rd and retrieved the body (we will donate to CSU Chico museum). 

Apparently poaching "trophy" ducks is not uncommon. After witnessing the poaching of the duck we called CalTIP and then the police and were transferred to CDFW warden for the area. I will be submitting some articles to local papers. We need to be aware, but not paranoid, that our posting alerts people with bad intentions for these rare birds. Let's figure this out.

Dawn Garcia
Oroville, CA

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