NEWARK, N.J., Aug. 24 (UPI) -- A South Jersey man was charged Friday with using a rifle and pellet gun to shoot protected species of hawks from his home near Atlantic City.
Robert Losasso, 68, of Somers Point was arrested by agents of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman said.
Fishman said neighbors reported finding dead and injured birds in their yards. Some neighbors told WCAU-TV in Philadelphia they were afraid to leave their homes because they did not know when Losasso would fire one of his guns.
Losasso is charged with six violations of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918. His alleged victims include red-shouldered hawks, which are listed as endangered in New Jersey, and Cooper's and sharp-shinned hawks, which are also protected in the state.
The southern part of the Jersey Shore is a critical part of the Atlantic Flyway. Cape May at the state's southern tip is famous among bird-watchers, especially during the spring and fall migrations.
Losasso faces up to six months in prison and a $15,000 fine for every violation of the act.