MSB Bird Division Policy
Shortgrass prairie south of Clayton, New Mexico January 2007 (A. Johnson)
The Division of Birds loans specimens to established,
scientifically recognized institutions for use in research projects of
scientists or their graduate students.
Loan requests for avian specimens (skins, skeletons tissues) should be
made in writing by the principal investigator and addressed to Christopher C. Witt . The loan request should detail the nature of the
research and will be approved on a case by case basis. Graduate student loan requests must be
co-signed by their faculty advisor. All loan
requests should include the following information:
Tissue loans, once approved by the Division of Birds, are to be arranged through the
Division of Genomic Resources.
Loans are made for six months. Extensions of the loan period may be
granted upon request.
- name, address, email, phone, fax
- brief description of project
- justification for specimen use from the MSB Division of Birds
- species, type of specimen (skin, skeleton, tissue), any additional
requirements for specimens (sex, specific localities, dates)
- brief description of laboratory techniques and analysis methods
- person(s) or laboratory performing analysis, if different from
- evidence of scientific skills (publications, description of
Destructive Sampling Policy
Biomolecular investigations often
require tissue samples, which are destructive to the specimen. These tissues include skin, feathers, bone, cartilage etc. from
skins or skeletons, and frozen tissue samples.The Division of Birds acknowledges your request for
destructive sampling of specimens. Our goal is to balance preservation
considerations with utilization for scientific research. Before approving
requests, we must judge the availability of the requested specimens and
the opportunity to archive replacement material.
Destructive sampling requests for any avian materials should be directed
to Christopher C. Witt for review and approval. Requests should follow the
procedure outlined above for specimen loans. All decisions are made on a
case-by-case basis. Destructive sampling requests should include:
- an estimate of the amount of material needed
- a brief description of the extraction protocol
- an estimate of the time required for publication
Destructive Sampling Conditions
addition to the conditions stated above for loans, tissue requests are subject
to additional terms:
- Researchers must return unused portions of samples to the Division of
Birds. Unused tissues may not be distributed to other researchers without
written consent. This rule allows for maximal use of tissues and prevents
- If applicable, researchers are requested to return a portion of the
extract derived from the samples (e.g., DNA, protein). Extracts may not be
distributed to other researchers without written consent.
- DNA sequences, etc. must be deposited to a database that makes information
available to the public (e.g., GenBank). The accession numbers of all
specimens annotated with GenBank (or another database) should also be given to
the Division of Birds.
- Researchers must bear costs associated with permits (e.g., USDA, CITES) to
transport and house tissue samples. USDA requires a transport permit to posess
imported tissues. A CITES Institutional permit is required to receive samples
of CITES-listed Appendix I, II, or III taxa.
- Researchers are responsible for shipping costs of tissue samples (and any
other information) returned to the Division of Birds.
Information for Visitors
The Division of Birds holdings are
available for study by qualified individuals. Visitors should call or
email the collection manager in advance to make an appointment to use
the division. The Division is open by appointment from 9:00 A.M. to 5:00
P.M. Monday through Friday, excepting University holidays. Guests are
asked to sign the "guest book" located at the entrance to the Division.
First time users of the Division must be trained in specimen handling
before access to the collection is granted.
There is a reference
library containing books that the visitor is allowed to use. All books are
for reference only and may not leave the Division.
and visitors have the responsibility to ensure that the collections are
protected and preserved. Please handle specimens with extreme care. It is
important to treat specimens as a valuable archive that must be preserved
for future generations.
Acknowledgment of Collection Use
Users of the MSB Division of Birds must acknowledge the Division in any publication that used our specimens or any data from
our specimens and/or facilities.
Proper citation: Division of Birds, Museum of
Southwestern Biology, University of New Mexico.