A bird found dead on a beach on Kangaroo Island appears to have been shot.
The osprey, a rare species in South Australia, was found by a member of the public on Brownlow Beach, near Kingscote.
Rob Ellis of the South Australian Environment Department said there was a wound consistent with the bird having been fired at.
"It's really distressing because these animals they're rare, so they're declining in South Australia and to actually have a sub-adult killed maliciously is, you know, really quite distressing," he said.
Mr Ellis said osprey numbers were already in decline due to issues such as insecticide use and nest disturbance.
"We're just coming out of the breeding season, so September, October and part of November is the breeding season for these birds. And the sad thing is that if this animal had been involved in a breeding event, the chicks may have been doomed to also perish," he said.