Earlier this month, Florida’s Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission confiscated illegal bird traps that were found on a trail in Rockland Key, one of the smaller islands in the Florida Keys, Fox News reported.
According to Fox, working with an officer from the US Fish and Wildlife Service, the state’s Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission was able to track down a suspect within 8 days by surveilling one of the bird traps.
The suspect, Daniel Richard Acevedo, 77, of Rockland Key, was frequently visiting the bird trap under surveillance. A subsequent search of Acevedo’s home turned up ten additional bird traps that were seized and placed into evidence. The Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission issued a notice to Aceveda for the possession and use of illegal traps.
In a statement from Fish and Wildlife last week, Area Captain David Dipre said using or possessing bird traps without a permit is prohibited in Florida. He warned the public that the trapping, possession, or selling or buying of these birds violates state and federal laws and could result in “hefty fines and possible jail time.”
In a post on social media, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission said that bird traps are most often placed in nature by poachers who are looking to sell Florida’s brightly-colored wild birds and native songbirds.
According to last week’s statement, poachers place either call birds or live bait inside the traps to attract migratory birds. But even if the traps do not contain live bait, they are still considered active, Fish and Wildlife explained.
The captured birds are then sold to various establishments, including pet stores.
According to Fish and Wildlife, Florida provides permits for bird traps only for use in scientific collection, education and exhibition, and non-native nuisance control.