Specimens are of higher value if they have data. We rarely take taxidermy mounts because they are space-hogs in the collection areas, and many taxidermy mounts lack collection data – or information is vague at best. We try to collect 1) as many species as possible, 2) from as many places as possible, and 3) through time. The Royal BC Museum’s collection is focused on BC and neighbouring provinces and states. Each group of vertebrates is be prepared and stored in unique ways.
Birds: alcohol preserved specimens, study skins, skeletons, eggs, nests, and taxidermy
Mammals: alcohol preserved specimens, study skins, skeletons, pelts, and taxidermy
Fishes: alcohol preserved specimens, cleared-and-stained skeletons, eggs, scales
Amphibians: alcohol preserved adults, tadpoles, and eggs
Reptiles: alcohol preserved adult specimens and eggs, dried snake skins and turtle shells
Comparative Faunal Collection: disarticulated skeletons for study (generally used by archaeologists)
The collection that grows the slowest likely is the bird nest collection. Mammal and bird specimens now are arriving regularly and we have over 50 lots of fishes (a few hundred fishes) collected this year, as well as 30 or so amphibians and reptiles. Word is out that we are accepting new specimens, so please help the museum build its collection. Any vertebrates in decent shape, with data, are greatly appreciated.
Our highest priority is the Spotted Skunk (Spilogale gracilis). We’d love to have that in our collection, because as of 2012, the Spotted Skunk is the only British Columbia mammal we lack.