Eagle Protection: Related Statutes

Statute by categorysort descending Citation Summary
AK - Eagle Protection - Chilkat Bald Eagle Preserve AS § 41.21.610 - 630

Alaska established the Chilkat Bald Eagle Preserve through the Park System to preserve the eagle in its natural habitat and provide educational and public viewing opportunities. The eagle is not listed as a threatened or endangered species in Alaska, but is legislatively protected in the Chilkat Preserve.

AZ - Endangered, nongame - Illegal Taking or Wounding of Wildlife A. R. S. § 17-268, § 17-296, § 17-298, § 17-298.01, § 17-314

Arizona assesses a monetary civil penalty for the possession or taking of listed species of wildlife and endangered/nongame wildlife (including eagles).  This fine goes to the state wildlife theft prevention fund and is in addition to any other fine or penalty assessed by law.

CA - Birds - Part 2. Birds. CA FISH & G § 3500 - 3864

These various sections are all related to the protection of birds in California.  Within these sections, the Legislature has enumerated fully protected birds in the state, prohibited activities such as destroying bird nests and eggs, required licenses for duck hunting, and outlined several provisions to guide state efforts in preserving and rehabilitating the California Condor.

CA - Hunting - § 3511. Fully protected birds and parts thereof; permits or licenses; necessary scientific research; legal import CA FISH & G § 3511

California law specifically states that no other statutes are to be construed to allow the taking of state protected birds, of which the golden eagle and bald eagle are listed, and any licenses issued to take protected birds are void unless issued for scientific or depredation purposes.

CA - Hunting - § 3513. Migratory nongame birds; protection CA FISH & G § 3513

California law reiterates that it is illegal to take or possess any bird or its parts that is listed under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, of which the eagle is listed. .

CO - Hunting - Willful Destruction of Wildlife C. R. S. A. § 33-6-117

Colorado has a unique statute specific to poaching for the purpose of acquiring parts or "trophies" from an animal with the intent of abandoning the carcass, or even soliciting someone else to do so.  Taking or hunting big game, eagles, or endangered species with this intent results in a felony.  The intent of the law is stated "to protect the wildlife from wanton, ruthless, or wasteful destruction or mutilation for their heads, hides, claws, teeth, antlers, horns, internal organs, or feathers."

CO - Wildlife, nongame - Wildlife; Illegal Possession C. R. S. A. § 33-6-109

Colorado law prohibits the taking, hunting, or possession of animals deemed property of the state or wildlife taken in violation of state, federal, or non-U.S. law (including bald and golden eagles), resulting in a misdemeanor with up to one year in jail and fines.  Further, there is an additional penalty for the taking of "big game" species.  It is also illegal to have in one's possession any nonnative or exotic species.

CT - Hunting of bald eagle prohibited - Chapter 490. Fisheries and Game C. G. S. A. § 26-93

Connecticut law prohibits the harassment and killing of bald eagles. Violation of the statute can result in a fine of not more than $100 or up to thirty days in jail, or both. .

DE - Hunting - § 739. Prohibitions respecting bald eagles; disturbing, damaging or destroying nests; eggs; penalties 7 Del.C. § 739

Delaware law makes it a Class A environmental misdemeanor to disturb or damage the nest or eggs of a bald eagle or to kill or possess a bald eagle. It is also prohibited to barter and trade in bald eagles or their parts.

FL - Endangered Species - Chapter 379. Fish and Wildlife Conservation. West's F. S. A. § 379.411

This statute prohibits the intentional killing or wounding of any animal, or the eggs or nest of any animal, listed as threatened, endangered, or of special concern, making it a third-degree felony.  The bald eagle has been designated under this provision.

GA - Hunting - Chapter 3. Wildlife Generally Ga. Code Ann., § 27-3-22 Georgia is unique as it prohibits the killing, possession, sale, and transporting of eagles and other migratory birds except for the transportation of feathers into the state of non-migratory birds for millinery purposes (the making of hats or headdresses).
IL - Protected species - Article II. Game Protective Regulations. 520 I.L.C.S. 5/2.1 to 2.5; 520 I.L.C.S. 5/2.36a

This collection of statutes provides that the title of all wild birds and mammals rests with the state. A new section in 2011 vests the Department of Natural Resources with the ability to control the possession and release of species deemed exotic or invasive. Other sections concern the possession of certain wild birds and animals. Possession of any listed wild bird or its parts (including the eagle) is illegal under the statute, except for the bona fide scientific or zoological exhibition.

KS - Wildlife Possession - Chapter 32. Wildlife, Parks and Recreation. K. S. A. 32-1005

Knowingly capturing, killing, or possessing for profit, or selling, bartering, purchasing or offering to do so as well as the shipping or transportation of wildlife constitutes the commercialization of wildlife.  The possession of listed wildlife for commercial purposes is considered a "nonperson" misdemeanor or felony depending on whether the aggregate value is greater than $1000. Commerce in protected wildlife (including eagles) incurs at least the minimum fine and may also result in the confiscation of equipment, license sanctions, and restitution.

MA - Possession - Chapter 131. Inland Fisheries and Game and Other Natural Resources. MA ST 131 § 75A

Massachusetts specifically protects the eagle as a bird of prey from hunting or possession, unless provided by permit. The law further prohibits the possession, harassment or harming of the eggs and nests of birds of prey. Notably, sale and transportation are not specifically listed under the statute. .

MD - Habitat - Subtitle 7. State Chesapeake Bay and Endangered Species Fund MD Code, Natural Resources, § 1-705

Maryland law specifically allocates funds for the habitat protection, conservation, and propagation of endangered and threatened species. This fund has a provision that designates this fund for the monitoring, surveying, and protection of bald eagle nest sites in addition to other wildlife.

ME - Endangered Species - Chapter 925. Fish and Wildlife Management and Research. 12 M.R.S.A. § 12808 This Maine law concerns the improper taking or interference with endangered and threatened species. Taking is defined as the intentional or negligent act or omission that results in the death of an endangered or threatened species, such as hunting, possession, selling, or deliberately feeding subject species. A warning must be issued for the first violation and the second violation constitutes a Class E crime.
MN - Habitat - Minnesota Environmental Rights Act (Chapter 116B. Environmental Rights) MN ST § 116B.01 - 13

Minnesota protects the environment under the Minnesota Environmental Rights Act (MERA). Under MERA, citizens may bring suits for civil remedies where activities are interfering with their enjoyment of natural resources, including eagle nesting sites. The law provides a comprehensive scheme under which anyone with sufficient interest in protecting land, water, air, or any natural resources may bring suit to enjoin an action.

MS - Hunting - § 49-1-39. Killing animals or birds injurious to agriculture; exception as to migratory birds MS ST § 49-1-39; MS ST § 49-5-7

Mississippi amended its laws in 2000 to specifically disallow the killing of any bird protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, and was further amended to prohibit the killing or molestation of any wild bird (other than a game bird and some excepted species). While the law was written with an evident bias toward agricultural protection, it does specifically mention the eagle as one of the species protected under federal law.

MT - Commerce - 87-6-202 MT ST 87-6-202 (formerly MT ST 87-3-111)

Under Montana State law, it is unlawful to buy, sell, or possess, or offer to buy, sell or possess any migratory game bird, game fish, or game animal.  The exceptions include the possession and transportation of legally taken game animals, the sale or purchase of hides, heads or mounts of legally acquired game animals, and the possession of naturally shed antlers of game animals, among other exceptions.

NC - Commerce - Chapter 113. Conservation and Development. NC ST § 113-294

North Carolina law makes it a Class 2 misdemeanor to sell, possess for sale, or buy any wildlife. Further, the law specifically makes it a greater transgression (a Class 1 misdemeanor) to unlawfully take, possess, transport, sell, or buy any dead or alive bald or golden eagle, nest or egg.  The taking of other animals listed like bears and cougars also incurs greater penalty.

ND - Eagle - Chapter 20.1-04. Birds, Regulations. ND ST 20.1-04-05

North Dakota has a statute that specifically prohibits any taking or possession of bald and golden eagles or their parts.  Included in the prohibited acts are take, kill, hunt, possess, pursue, or even disturb.  Buying and selling are not specifically listed, but are presumed to be included in possess.  For discussion of federal Eagle Act, see Detailed Discussion .

NE - Predators - Article 5. Regulations and Prohibited Acts. (e) Damage by Wildlife NE ST § 37-559 to 563

This statute provides that a farmer or rancher may kill a predator that threatens agricultural or livestock interests without first having obtained a permit.  The provision does not allow a farmer or rancher to destroy those species protected under the federal Endangered Species Act, the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act, and other listed federal wildlife acts.

NH - Eagle, Golden - Chapter 209. Game Birds; Pigeons. NH ST § 209:1 - 209:13

New Hampshire prohibits the hunting, capturing, killing, or possession of any bald or golden eagle or disturbing eagle nests and young.

NV - Eagle - Chapter 503. Hunting, Fishing and Trapping; N.R.S. 503.610

Nevada has a law that specifically protects both bald (American) and golden eagles. The statute makes it illegal to possess or capture by whatever means either species. The law does allow for the taking of an eagle pursuant to permit only if the eagle has seriously injured agricultural or other interests, provided it is consistent with federal law and no other alternative is appropriate.

NY - Eagles - Chapter 43-B. Of the Consolidated Laws. N.Y. Envtl. Conserv. Law § 11-0537

New York makes it illegal to "knowingly or with wanton disregard for the consequences" take, transport, possess, or engage in commerce of bald eagles or their parts without a valid permit.  This incorporates the exact language of the federal act. .

NY - Exotic - Chapter 43-B. Of the Consolidated Laws. McKinney's E. C. L. § 11-0501 to 11-0539

This set of New York statutes provides some of the state's fish and wildlife laws. Among the provisions include a prohibition against interference with wildlife, restriction on the possession and importation of certain wildlife such as wolves, wolfdogs, coyotes, coydogs, foxes, skunks, and venomous reptiles, and laws that allows individuals to take destructive wildlife. No person shall knowingly possess, harbor, sell, barter, transfer, exchange or import any wild animal for use as a pet in New York state, except that any person who possessed a wild animal for use as a pet at the time that this section went effect may retain possession of such animal for the remainder of its life.

OH - Bald Eagle - Chapter 4503. Licensing of Motor Vehicles. R.C. § 4503.572

This Ohio statute provides that funds derived from bald eagle license plates sales are used exclusively to acquire, develop, and restore habitat for bald eagles in Ohio.

OH - Endangered Species - Chapter 1531. Division of Wildlife. Propagation and Preservation. R.C. § 1531.26

This Ohio statute provides for a wildlife fund created by tax revenue that is used to monitor and protect non-game and endangered species.  Additionally, revenues in the wildlife fund from sources such as the Bald Eagle License Plate Fund and direct donations may also be used to pay the costs of acquiring, developing, and restoring habitat for bald eagles within this state.

OH - Falconry - Chapter 1533. Hunting; Fishing. Falconry. R.C. § 1533.05, 1533.051

This Ohio statute regulates falconry in the state.  It specifically excludes bald eagles from the listed species of raptors for use in falconry.

OH - Nongame - Chapter 1533. Hunting; Fishing. Special Hunting Area; Nongame Birds; Scientific Permits. R.C. § 1533.06 - 1533.09

This Ohio statute prohibits the injuring, killing, pursuing, possessing, or exposing to commerce of all nongame birds.  The statute further prohibits the killing or possession at any time of bald or golden eagles, except for the educational or zoological possession by government affiliated agencies.  Notably, each possession or taking of a bird or bird part constitutes a separate offense.

OK - Game Animals - Part 4. Protected Game. § 5-410. Hawks; falcons; owls; eagles 29 Okl. St. Ann. § 5-410

Oklahoma law prohibits the knowing and willful killing or molestation of hawks, falcons, owls, or eagles, or their nests, eggs, or young. The only exceptions to this prohibition are the taking of a hawk or owl in the act of destroying domestic birds or fowl, or the use of hawks, owls, falcons, or eagles by licensed falconers.

SC - Hunting - Bald Eagle Penalties Increased Code 1976 § 50-11-852

This statute prohibits the killing of any bird of prey, resulting in a misdemeanor conviction .  If the bird is a bald eagle, the individual faces a maximum fine of up to $1,000 and one year in jail in addition to the revocation of hunting privileges for five years.  For discussion of federal Eagle Act, see Detailed Discussion .

TX - Hunting - Subchapter B. Seasons and Limits. § 64.011. Eagle. V. T. C. A., Parks & Wildlife Code § 64.011

This section of the Texas code prohibits the killing of a golden or Mexican brown eagle except by permit (refers to the permit to kill wildlife that is threatening agricultural interests or public safety).  For discussion of federal Eagle Act, see Detailed Discussion .

TX - Wildlife - Subchapter H. Permits to Control Wildlife Protected by This Code. V. T. C. A., Parks & Wildlife Code § 43.151 - 158

This statute allows an individual to apply to a local municipality to receive a permit to destroy wildlife that is posing a serious risk to agricultural interests or public safety.  This provision relates to a section that disallows the killing of eagles save for this exception.

US - Eagle - Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act 16 U.S.C. 668a - d The BGEPA prohibits any form of possession or taking of both bald and golden eagles through criminal and civil sanctions as well as an enhanced penalty provision for subsequent offenses.  Further, the BGEPA provides for the forfeiture of anything used to acquire eagles in violation of the statute.  The statute excepts from its prohibitions on possession the use of eagles or eagle parts for exhibition, scientific, and Indian religious uses.
US - Golden Eagle - Protection Public Law 87-884; 76 Stat. 1246 (1962)

This public law amended the Eagle Protection Act by adding golden eagles as a protected species under the Act.  The Joint Resolution states that the golden eagle was added under the Act not only because it too faced extinction, but its listing would further protect the bald eagle, as the two species are sometimes mistaken for each other.  For further discussion, see the Eagle Act Detailed Discussion.

US - Migratory Bird - Migratory Bird Treaty Act 16 USC 703 - 712

This law implements the treaties that the US has signed with a number of countries protecting birds that migrate across our national borders.  It makes illegal the taking, possessing or selling of protected species.

US - Native American - American Indian Religious Freedom Act (AIFRA) 42 USC 1996

This act created an executive policy of respect for Native American religious ideas and practices.  While it does not create any substantive right of action by a Native American, AIFRA has been used substantiate claims against federal acts that infringe the exercise of Native American religions (policy affirmed by a 1994 executive order).  For discussion of federal Eagle Act, see Detailed Discussion .

US - Native American - RFRA (Religious Freedom Restoration Act) 42 USC 2000bb-1

RFRA provides that the government may not substantially burden an individual's free exercise of religion unless it is in furtherance of a compelling government interest and it is done through the least restrictive means.  For discussion of federal Eagle Act, see Detailed Discussion .

US - Protection - Annotated Eagle Act 16 U.S.C. 668

The Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act (BGEPA) prohibits any form of taking both bald and golden eagles except as provided by permit.  This annotated version links to the specific issue in a detailed discussion of the Act.  For further discussion of the BGEPA in general, see Detailed Discussion of Eagle Act .

UT - Endangered Species - Chapter 20. Enforcement--Violations and Penalties U.C.A. 1953 § 23-20-3 - 8 This Utah statute criminalizes the intentional or reckless abandonment of a carcass or killing of wildlife for pecuniary gain.  The statute lists the restitution value of species protected under the code (bald eagles $1,000 and golden eagles $500).  Further, the statute proscribes mandatory incarceration for felony convictions (aggregate value of species taken over $500)  where the motive of the individual was pecuniary gain.
UT - Hunting - § 23-20-4.5. Illegal taking, possession, or wanton destruction of protected wildlife U.C.A. 1953 § 23-20-4.5

This statute lists the restitution amounts for the illegal killing of certain species (including bald and golden eagles) of wildlife, with enhanced monetary penalties for "trophy" animals.   These funds are used in educational and wildlife enforcement activities by the state.  For discussion of federal Eagle Act, see Detailed Discussion .

UT - Native American - § 64-13-40. Worship for native American inmates U.C.A. 1953 § 64-13-40

This unique provision allows Native American inmates in Utah access to eagle parts and other traditional ceremonial objects for use in worship.  The inmate has the burden of establishing his or her Native American ancestry.

VA - Hunting - § 29.1-521. Unlawful to hunt, trap, possess, sell or transport wild birds and wild animals except as permitted; e Va. Code Ann. § 29.1-521

This statute makes it a Class 3 misdemeanor to take listed wild animals.  In 2014, Virgina prohibited hunting or killing any deer or bear with a gun, firearm, or other weapon with the aid or assistance of dogs on Sundays.This statute also provides a procedural mechanism for registered Virginia Native Americans to obtain wild animal parts (i.e., eagle feathers) for ceremonial religious use.  For  discussion of federal Eagle Act, see Detailed Discussion .

WA - Eagle - 77.12.650. Protection of bald eagles and their habitats--Cooperation required West's RCWA 77.12.650, West's RCWA 77.12.655 This outlines the rules and cooperative agreements mandated for the protection of eagles and their habitats in the state of Washington to prevent the eagle from becoming endangered or threatened.  The administrative rules further describe the partners involved, which include private landowners, and the delineations of habitat buffer zones to protect roosting sites.
WV - Eagle - § 20-2-5c. Protection of bald eagles and golden eagles; unlawful acts; criminal penalties; forfeitures; license rev W. Va. Code, § 20-2-5c

This statute makes it a misdemeanor to possess or barter in golden or bald eagles,  and any subsequent convictions under this chapter result in felony prosecution.  In addition to fines and imprisonment, violators face revocation of hunting license privileges for up to ten years.

WV - Hunting - § 20-2-5a. Forfeiture by person causing injury, death or destruction of game or protected species of animal; repl W. Va. Code, § 20-2-5a

Under this statute, defendants must pay an additional monetary penalty in the form of a "replacement cost" for the unlawful killing of certain listed species ($5,000 for each bald or golden eagle killed).  If two defendants were implicated in the killing, each must pay the full penalty.  For discussion of federal Eagle Act, see Detailed Discussion .

WY - Eagles - § 23-3-101. Taking eagle prohibited WY ST § 23-3-101

This Wyoming statutes prohibits the taking of an eagle unless the taking is authorized by federal law. Such a taking constitutes a high misdemeanor.