The Eagle Program sole purpose is to provide a central location for the receipt, storage and distribution of bald and golden eagles found dead and their parts throughout the United States. The eagles, and their parts, are shipped to Native Americans and Alaska Natives enrolled in federally recognized tribes for use in Indian religious ceremonies. The collection efforts of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service provides a legal means for Native Americans to acquire eagle feathers for religious purposes, which in turn, reduces the pressure to take birds from the wild and thereby protecting eagle populations. It also, promotes a government to government relationship with federally recognized tribes, as well as, fulfills the U.S. governments trust responsibilities to Native Americans.
The Wildlife Property Program serves the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Office of Law Enforcement (OLE) by receiving and storing wildlife and wildlife products seized and forfeited during OLE’s investigation and inspection activities. No live wildlife is stored at the facility, but there are roughly 1.3 million items in inventory from whale products to rhino parts, mounted tigers to monkey skulls. The species represented at the Repository are too numerous to list, but may be found as mounted specimens, tanned/untanned skins, skeletal remains, tourist curios (curiosities), and voluminous amounts of products derived from threatened or endangered species such as elephants, tigers, rhinos, sea turtles, Tibetan antelope, marine mammals, and many more. Despite the large inventory it is noteworthy that the items represented at the Repository only amount to a fraction of the volume of items involved in the unlawful wildlife trade. The Repository receives property from OLE special agents and wildlife inspectors throughout the United States and U.S. Territories. Received items can then be shipped out for education programs, to further scientific research, and even aid current law enforcement investigations.
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