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Collections & Research

The Slater Museum is home to over 100,000 mammal, bird, reptile, amphibian, plant, insect & geological research specimens. 

Mammals: 30,000
16,000 skins
24,800 skulls
2,100 complete skeletons
575 alcoholics (specimens preserved alcohol)

Birds: 23,000
16,000 skins
2,000 skeletons
4,100 extended wings
4,600 egg sets
1,300 nests

Herps (amphibians and reptiles): 8,200

Insects: 6,000

Plants: 13,000

Most of the specimens are from Washington, Oregon, and elsewhere in western North America, but many have been acquired from other parts of the world through collecting and exchange. Specimens are being continually acquired by the museum, and the collections are growing by 1-2% per year. Many skeletons of birds and mammals have been prepared to accompany the more traditional skin collections. Especially noteworthy are the largest collections of herps and bird eggs in the Northwest and, until very recently, the largest collection of mammals in the Northwest. The bird wing collection is also of special significance, as a fifth of the bird specimens in the collection have been prepared since 1990 and thus have associated wings. Because it contains series of many species of vertebrates from throughout western North America, the Slater is an excellent source of material for the study of geographic variation. A valuable collection of desert insects from Arizona and Argentina, gathered during the International Biomes Project, was recently donated to the museum, and we are now adding to our collection of local insects.