The collection of Galápagos materials that includes anatomical specimens, images, and papers at the UW-Madison Zoological Museum (UWZM) is unique and rare. Since 1978, UWZM has been one of only 3 museums granted permission by the Ecuadorian Government to collect, preserve, transport, and maintain scientific anatomical specimens from the Galápagos Islands. The objective of the agreement with Ecuador has been to utilize carcasses of animals which have died of natural causes, been killed illegally, or captured legally under the investigative authorization of other scientists. Collections are made in the field, and animal carcasses are partially cleaned and dried before leaving the islands. They are then transported to the UWZM for further preparation and cleaning. Complete osteological specimens are divided between institutions in Ecuador and the UWZM. Ten expeditions since 1969 to the Galápagos by UW-Madison scientists and researchers have produced a wealth of invaluable museum specimens: approximately 669 complete and 675 partial skeletons. In addition these expeditions have produced thousands of images and papers that up until now have not been preserved in any format.
The UW-Madison Zoological Museum: Galápagos Collection was funded by the Brittingham Family Fund.
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