Territory Wildlife seized
Wildlife Rangers from the Parks and Wildlife Commission of the Northern Territory (the Commission) have seized one of the largest known collections of wildlife in Australia with a total of 1300 animal parts seized, most of which are suspected to have been illegally obtained.
The Northern Territory Parks and Wildlife Commission, Alastair Shields said the Wildlife Rangers found nearly a thousand separate native animal parts, including a number of threatened species and more than 300 non-native animals in the Parks and Wildlife raid which took place in Howard Springs south of Darwin on Wednesday 7 December 2016.
“At this point it is believed the majority of animals seized were birds including Wedge Tailed Eagles and the Territory's iconic Brolga. Once processed, the seized wildlife could have an estimated value in excess of $500,000 on the illegal market.
“This is a case of suspected illegal activity, under the Territory Parks and Wildlife Conservation Act for taking and possessing protected and threatened wildlife.
"Wildlife Rangers are working around the clock to examine the evidence, which includes a number of mobile devices and other records, to determine what charges should be laid.
“We take these matters seriously, and will ensure that offenders are brought to justice,” said Mr Shields.
The maximum penalty for illegal taking or possessing protected wildlife is $77,000 or five years imprisonment. For threatened wildlife, the maximum penalty is $154,000 or 10 years imprisonment.
Northern Territory Police alerted the Parks and Wildlife Commission, Wildlife Operations unit after they approached a vehicle parked on the Stuart Highway just outside the Adelaide River Township around midnight Tuesday 6 December.
NT Police arrested four males, seized four firearms and assisted with two search warrants.
A 32-year-old male has been charged with four counts of discharge firearm on road or public place and four counts of discharge firearm on land without authority. His firearm licence has been suspended. The man was bailed to appear in the Darwin Local Court on 14 March 2017, the other three men were released pending further investigations.
Police will continue to work closely with PWCNT in this investigation.
If you know of or suspect someone is involved in wildlife crime contact PWCNT Wildlife Operations on 0401 115 702 (24 hours) or email firstname.lastname@example.org