Salvaged specimens make up an important part of the holdings of museums. Unusual records or species impossible to acquire any other way often come to us from animal rehabilitators or interested people finding specimens under windows or on the roadside or beach. We are adding to both our research and teaching collections; thus we can use specimens of any mammal, bird, reptile or amphibian, if in reasonably good condition. Even decomposed or damaged specimens of rare species are wanted, as they are of value as records and may be saved as partial specimens. We intend to maximize the value of such animals, and we very much appreciate the efforts of those who take the trouble to bring them to us.
If you are on Vashon Island, specimens can be dropped off at 10925 SW Bank Road (green mailbox, first drive west of Augie's sign) in a blue cooler by the garage. In Tacoma, drop off freezer is in the hall outside of Thompson 295 if now one is in the museum. A rarity or specimens of special significance can be shipped overnight - call to make arrangements.
1. Note when and where the specimen was found (the most critical items).
Specimens without such information are of little use to the scientific community, although they can still be used for teaching. When salvaging a specimen, the more information the better: cause of death, habitat, or any special notes, for instance. But at the very least, slip a piece of paper in the bag with it that includes the following information:
2. Package it properly (if possible) in a freezer bag and freeze.
Proper storage will greatly enhance the value of a specimen.
The museum will be pleased to provide potential donors with plastic bags and tags, and we will be happy to show you the disposition of your specimens when they are prepared.
As of 2010, the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the source of federal regulations, allows specimen salvage with the intent of donating specimens to a permitted institution. The Washington Fish and Wildlife Department, the source of state regulations, still insists on salvage permits.
Donations for collection development, outreach activities, and research are welcome. For commercial use of wing images, we are asking for a tax-deductible donation of $50 (or what you can afford). Contributions specifically for the wing collection will be used to enhance the collection by adding images and for image database development. If higher-resolution images are needed, we can supply them and provide quotes. For more information see contact information at right.