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An Attica taxidermist faces state charges over the unlicensed possession of more than 100 live turtles and five live birds.

He also faces 76 counts of illegal possession of birds related to stuffed specimens, including more than a dozen species of protected birds of prey.

The state Department of Environmental Conservation announced Thursday that John P. Volpe, 62, was charged Feb. 19, nine days after a search of his home by DEC officers and a special agent from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, armed with a search warrant.

Volpe has a record with the DEC. In 2005, he was found to be in possession of two live birds of prey. Following that investigation, the birds were placed with a licensed facility.

The DEC said Volpe, who could not be reached for comment Thursday, was given the opportunity to go through the licensing process, but did not.

In addition to the newly announced state charges, Volpe faces pending federal charges in conjunction with work he performed in his taxidermy shop on migratory waterfowl, as well as his possession of both bald and golden eagle parts and mounts.

The DEC announced that Volpe allegedly had 108 native turtles at his home, more than 100 of them live, including one live wood turtle, which is currently listed as a “species of special concern” by the state.

In all, he was charged with unlawful possession of 102 snapping turtles, two painted turtles and four wood turtles.

Also, Volpe was charged with possessing a live screech owl, a live red-tailed hawk, and three live song birds.

Volpe has a record with the DEC. In 2005, he was found to be in possession of two live birds of prey. Following that investigation, the birds were placed with a licensed facility.

The DEC said Volpe was given the opportunity to go through the licensing process, which he did not.

In addition to the state charges, Volpe faces pending federal charges in conjunction with work he performed in his taxidermy shop on migratory waterfowl, as well as his alleged possession of both bald and golden eagle parts and mounts.

It is against the law to possess numerous species of wildlife without a permit or license from the DEC, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, or both, depending on the species. Volpe did not have any permits, the DEC said.

DEC Commissioner Joe Martens said in a statement, “State and federal laws and regulations are designed to protect wildlife whose existence is threatened, and individuals are required to have permits to possess certain species. DEC is committed to enforcing these protections and, in this case, worked closely with our federal partner to stop this illegal activity.”

The rundown of bird charges against Volpe includes 18 counts involving screech owls; six counts of red-tailed hawks; five counts of gulls; and three counts each of great horned owls, turkey vultures, robins and barn swallows.

Also, two counts each of saw-whet owls, Cooper’s hawks, sharp-shinned hawks, red-shouldered hawks, mourning doves, blue jays, gold finches, eastern flickers, grackles and warblers.

email: tprohaska@buffnews.com