Times Record Staff
A reward is being offered for information regarding the deaths of several birds found on an island in the Arkansas River.
Federal and state endangered species regulations protect least terns, according to a news release from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
The endangered birds are found anywhere along the Arkansas River from the Oklahoma state line to the Mississippi River. Their main nesting area is a section of the river from Clarksville downstream to Pine Bluff, the release states.
The dead birds were found late last month, and several spent shotgun shells also were discovered on the island, the release states. Egg shell fragments also were found. Earlier in June, researchers found more than 50 adult terns and two active nests on the island. Researchers believe the birds were beginning re-nesting activities following a June 12 flood, according to the release.
A reward of up to $8,500 is being offered for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for the deaths, the release states. The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, The Humane Society of the United States and the Humane Society Wildlife Land Trust is offering the reward.