eagle

The only eagles to call Alberta home, the golden eagle and the bald eagle (pictured), are protected as non-game, sensitive species. (Government of Alberta )

A Cochrane courtroom heard sentencing arguments on Wednesday in a case of illegal trafficking in eagle parts.

Fish and Wildlife officers seized dozens of illegal items in 2011 made from the bones and feathers of eagles, which are protected as non-game, sensitive species in Alberta.

Terry Daniels and her brother Harlin pleaded guilty in the case.

Crown prosecutor Mac Vomberg said it’s believed the items came from 26 gold eagles and 39 bald eagles.

Officials are trying to determine what will be done with the items.

Some of them, which include ceremonial bustles and fans, will either be returned to the Daniels family or handed over to the department of Fish and Wildlife to distribute to other aboriginal groups in the province.

There is a program in place for aboriginal Canadians to access eagle feathers, but Vomberg said the two culprits in this case obtained the eagle parts through their own means.

Experts estimate there are only 200 to 500 nesting eagles left in Alberta.