Man fined EUR 15,000 for destroying stork nest

For the intentional killing of white storklings, the Zemgale District Court has sentenced a man to 140 hours of community service, as well as a fine of EUR 15,000, the prosecutor's office said July 17.

The defendant has fully acknowledged his guilt.

The prosecutor's office pointed out that in July 2022, under the influence of alcohol, the defendant, aware that a specially protected species – the white stork (Ciconia ciconia) – had a nest on his chimney, had reached the chimney through the hatch and deliberately pushed a wooden stick through, toppling a nest containing three young white storks.

As a result, the nest slipped off the roof of the house on the ground, and all three birds died. The defendant then burned the nest.

The court has judged that the accused caused material damage to nature and caused a material loss to the Republic of Latvia of EUR 15,000.

The white stork is a bird species protected in Latvia and Europe. Latvia holds about 4% of the world's white stork population, and currently their population in Latvia is no longer growing – the maximum environmental saturation with birds of this species has been achieved. Around 10,000 storks are nesting in Latvia every year.

The density of white stork nests in Latvia is one of the highest in Europe, up to 65 nests per 100 square kilometers of agricultural land.

Arbitrary demolition of stork nests is prohibited and an administrative penalty is applied for such an offense.

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