The Pennsylvania Board of Game Commissioners today gave final approval to a measure that increases to $2,500 the replacement costs for killing bald eagles or golden eagles.
The heightened penalty will take effect in the coming months.
The bald eagle had been classified as a state-threatened species until early 2014, when it was removed from the Pennsylvania’s threatened-species list because its recovery met objectives outlined in the state’s bald-eagle management plan.
While golden and bald eagles both remain protected by federal and state law, the fact that neither bird was classified as threatened meant that killing a golden or bald eagle resulted at the state level in $200 in replacement costs. Replacement costs are restitution for unlawfully killed wildlife, and typically are paid in addition to fines.
Commissioners said the $2,500 replacement cost emphasizes that although golden and bald eagles are recovered in Pennsylvania, they still require further protection.