Jim Neiger could face one year in prison.
According to court papers, the photographer in question was observed more than a half dozen times by a group of researchers harassing an endangered bird and violating federal law.
Lake Toho is paradise for lovers of exotic bird species. But in some cases, you must keep your distance.
The Endangered Species Act requires people to stay at least 500 feet from nests of the Snail Kite, an endangered raptor.
According to federal court papers, eight times between 2010 and 2011, a group of University of South Florida researchers observed Kissimmee wildlife photographer Jim Neiger wedge his pontoon boat into the reeds near snail kite nests.
The endangered raptors would fly off their nests, allowing Neiger and people on his boat to photograph them.
On his website, Flight School Photography Inc., Neiger lists as a specialty instruction on how to photograph birds in flight.
In exchange for a guilty plea to a single count of violating the federal Endangered Species Act, Neiger could face a maximum of one year in prison and up to $100,000 in fines. In return for the plea, prosecutors say they won't oppose two years probation, but there are no guarantees.
WESH 2 News was unable to reach Neiger at his home-based business.
In lieu of turning over his boat motor and camera, Neiger has also agreed to pay $9,000 in fines. Video.