FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) — The federal government has decided against limiting the number of nesting golden eagles that Hopis can collect from the neighboring Navajo reservation.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service had signaled it would place the limit at five. But the agency changed course last week, saying Hopis were concerned about not being able to visit traditional gathering areas.
The Navajo Nation also wanted to manage for sustainable populations of the eaglets on its own land. A compact between the two tribes also addresses the gathering.
The Fish and Wildlife Service has authorized the Hopi Tribe to collect 40 eaglets this year for religious use.
Hopi religious practitioners gather the eaglets each spring and sacrifice them when they're mature. The birds' feathers are used in other ceremonies and rituals.