A Kansas construction company and one employee were reprimanded Tuesday for violating the Migratory Bird Treaty Act after hundreds of cliff swallows and their nests were destroyed during a 2012 bridge repair project in Harper County.
According to court records and the nonprosecution agreement, Wildcat Concrete Services, of Topeka, Kan., was responsible for the destruction of 818 eggs and 1,491 nests during joint expansion repair work contracted through the Oklahoma Department of Transportation on May 25, 2012, at the Otter Creek Bridge on U.S. 270.
The cliff swallow is federally protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, which creates a misdemeanor criminal sanction for the taking of protected species by any means and in any manner without a permit, regardless of fault. Cliff swallows are one of 1,026 species of birds protected by the act.
Wildcat Concrete Services paid $372,750 to the North American Wetlands Conservation Fund as part of a nonprosecution agreement with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the U.S. attorney's office in Oklahoma City.
Richard Lee Pool, 54, of Osage City, Kan., pleaded guilty to one misdemeanor count of scraping down a nest containing an egg of a migratory cliff swallow. Pool was sentenced to three months of probation and 10 hours of community service.
“Protecting and preserving our country's natural resources, including wildlife, is an important responsibility that we take very seriously,” said Sanford Coats, U.S. attorney in Oklahoma City, in a news release.