Man who shot protected hawks gets 6-hour jail term

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NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — A man who shot protected hawks from the back door of his southern New Jersey home has been ordered to serve six hours in jail and perform 60 hours of community service at a wildlife facility.

Federal prosecutors say 70-year-old Robert Losasso, of Somers Point, also must pay $4,350 in restitution to the wildlife rehabilitation centers that incurred losses in treating or euthanizing the hawks. He also must serve 18 months of supervised release, during which time he can't possess any firearms.

The sentence was imposed Monday. Losasso will serve his brief jail time Jan. 5.

Losasso had pleaded guilty to six counts of violating the Migratory Bird Treaty Act for killing, or trying to kill, four species of hawks protected under federal law.

Losasso admitted that he fatally shot or attempted to shoot red-tailed, sharp-shinned, red-shouldered and Cooper's hawks on several occasions. Those species are among the tens of thousands of birds of prey that migrate every year from Canada along the Atlantic Flyway through New Jersey.

Losasso also admitted that he didn't have any permit to shoot the birds.

The Migratory Bird Treaty Act was enacted in 1918. It affords protections to migratory birds under several international conventions to which the United States is a party.

Breeding populations of red-shouldered hawks are listed as endangered on New Jersey's Endangered and Threatened Wildlife list, while sharp-shinned hawks and populations of Cooper's hawks also have special protections under state law.

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