Sponsored by the

Museum of Natural Science, Louisiana State University


Useful messages from AVECOL

(scroll down for useful pdfs related to collecting and collections)

[return to AVECOL home page]


Defense of collecting specimens

Cooper's Hawk predation (Ned Johnson)
Collecting handout (Sievert Rohwer)
• graph of mortality sources in birds (thanks to Gary Shugart)

(scroll down for useful pdfs related to collecting and collections)



auxillary barrels (Kevin Winker, Gerald Braden)
cabinets (Andy Johnson, James Dean)
cabinet paper (James Dean, Kevin Winker)
egg boxes (Janet Hinshaw, John Gerwin, Sam Sumida)
scales (James Dean)
shot (Brian Schmidt, Steve Cardiff)
skinning cotton (Walt Sakai, Janet Hinshaw, Cindy Ramotnik, René Corado, Brian Schmidt, Paul Sweet)
specimen tubes (John Gerwin, Tom Erdman, Chris Wood)



• download World Anatomical Inventories (from 1980s); scroll to "Skeletal and Fluid Preserved Material" (Shannon Hackett)
• link to Guidelines to the Use of Wild Birds in Research (1997, The Ornithological Council

arsenic on old skins (Angelo Capparella, James Dean, Brian Gill)
freeze drying (Tony Irwin)
"no pest" strips (Sam Sumida)
West Nile Virus (David Mindell)
When is a specimen not worth keeping? (Kevin Winker, Paul Sweet)

Index to Zimmer's "Studies of Peruvian Birds" (by Morris Williams, courtesy Paul Sweet)

 • response to American Bird Conservancy anti-collecting propaganda


photographing specimens (Sam Sumida)
relaxing skins/mounts (Steve Rogers)
repairing old and damaged skins (Johannes Erritzoe, Katrina Cook, Gary Shugart, Sam Sumida, Irene Torres)

• moving a collection: from Sam Sumida (WFVZ)
• moving a collection: from Tony Irwin

freezing specimens to kill pests (Brian Schmidt, Janet Hinshaw)



Useful papers in pdf form relevant to collections and their importance
(further contributions welcomed)


Defense of collecting specimens and importance of research collections:

• Cuervo et al. (2006) Ornitología Colombiana (pdf file)
• Winker et al. paper (1991) Loon (pdf file)
Remsen (1995) Bird Conservation Intl. (pdf file)
• Remsen (1991) Ecología en Bolivia [defense of collecting, in Spanish] (pdf file)
• Winker (1996) Conservation Biology (pdf file)
• Winker et al. on vouchers (1996) Ibis (pdf file)
• Sheldon & Dittmann on tissue collections (pdf file) [
SHELDON, F. H., & D. L. DITTMANN. 1997. The value of vertebrate tissue collections in applied and basic science. Pp. 163-174 in K. E. Hoagland and A. Y. Rossman (eds.), Global Genetic Resources: Access, Ownership, and Intellectual Property Rights. Association of Systematics Collections, Washington, D.C.]
• Winker (1997) Conservation Biology (pdf file)
• Remsen (1997) Bird Conservation Intl. (pdf file)
• Remsen (1993) Birding [on collecting vagrants] (pdf file)
• Cotterill (1999) Taxon (pdf file)
• Cotterill (2002) Simposio (pdf file) [
COTTERILL, F.P.D. (2002) The future of Natural Science Collections into the 21st Century. Conferencia de Clausura. Actas del I Simposio sobre el Patrimonio Natural en las Colecciones Públicas en España (Vitoria, 25 - 27 Septiembre 2001). Departamento de Cultura, Diputación Foral de Alava. Vitoria. pp. 237-282.]
Sheldon (2001) on tissue collections (pdf file)
• Payne & Sorenson (2003): "Museum collections as sources for genetic data," Bonner zool. Beitr. (pdf file)

• Gaunt et al. (2005): "New directions for bioacoustic collections," Auk (pdf file)

• Kiff (2005): "History, present status, and future prospects of avian eggshell collections in North America," Auk (pdf file)

• Winker (2004): "Natural history museums in a postbiodiversity era," BioScience (pdf file)

• Winker (2005): "Bird collections: development and use of a scientific resource," Auk (pdf file)

• Corado (2005): "The importance of information on specimen labels," Ornitologia Neotropical (pdf file)


Museum techniques etc.

specimen preparation (Winker 2000 JFO) (pdf)

Ildiko Szabo’s website at Beatty Biodiversity Museum, UBC (for all sorts of great stuff on preparing and using specimens)