Museum Curation

Research Task: 


Task Manager: 

Cindy Ramotnik

The USGS manages two significant natural history collections, one in Washington, D.C., and the other in Albuquerque, N.M. The USGS Biological Surveys Collection in Albuquerque is curated by FORT staff and housed through a cooperative partnership with the University of New Mexico Museum of Southwestern Biology. The collection currently comprises more than 26,000 mammals, 3,200 birds, 13,000 amphibians and reptiles, and 5,000 catalogued lots of fishes collected across the Rocky Mountains and Intermountain West. The mammal collection is well-represented by bats and other small mammals from Federal lands in the West. Of particular relevance are the almost 265,000 fish specimens collected from the Upper Colorado River Basin during or shortly after the closing of the major impoundments in the basin. Some of these fishes are now listed as endangered or threatened under the Federal Endangered Species Act. The museum represents an important archival source of historic and recent information and fuels cutting-edge research through use of specimens and genetic samples. Ongoing task responsibilities include (1) providing long-term care and management of the USGS collection; (2) documenting distribution records of vertebrates from the western United States by collecting and depositing vouchers in the collection and publishing findings; (3) providing guidance and museum curation expertise to U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI) clients and the museum community; and (4) providing vertebrate identifications, loans of vouchers and frozen tissues, and other services to DOI clients in particular and museum users in general. A list of publications that cite use of the collection is maintained by the FORT Arid Lands Field Station.

For more information contact:

Cindy Ramotnik

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