Man sentenced to 90 days in jail after killing 159 protected birds of prey

A California man killed more than 150 protected birds and other wildlife in what officials have called the largest raptor poaching case in state history.

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Richard Parker, 68, pleaded guilty Friday to poaching-related crimes, was sentenced to 90 days in jail and agreed to pay $75,000 in fines, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.

A tip last March led investigators to Parker's property, where they discovered 159 dead animals, mostly red-tailed hawks. They also found two bobcats, a stuffed mountain lion and an owl, the Chronicle reported.

"Poaching is not a game, it's a serious crime," Attorney General Xavier Becerra said in a statement. "Richard Parker willfully and egregiously disregarded California law to kill protected wildlife, including hawks. To anyone who breaks our laws for illegal sport, know that we will prosecute and hold you accountable."

The birds are protected under the federal Migratory Bird Treaty Act, and California state law bars killing them.

Officials said it could take years for the bird population to recover.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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