Division of Mammals

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Division of Mammals
Museum of Southwestern Biology
1 University of New Mexico
Albuquerque, NM 87131
Division of Mammals
Museum of Southwestern Biology
CERIA Building 83 Room 204
302 Yale Blvd NE
University of New Mexico
Albuquerque, NM 87131

Division of Mammals Summary and Stats

Spatial and Temporal Coverage


Growth Chart


Scope of the Collection

Geographic Breadth

The collection is world-wide in scope (78 countries, all US states) with particularly strong holdings from the Southwestern United States, Beringia, Central Asia, and Latin America.

Taxonomic Breadth

Representatives from 25 of 27 orders, 108 families, 556 genera, >1,800 species. The majority from the Orders Rodentia (255,000), Chiroptera (28,000), Carnivora (21,000), Eulipotyphla (17,000), and Artiodactyla (8,000).

Temporal Range

The collection contains specimens dating back to 1890, with the major holdings documenting the rapid environmental change from 1950s on.

holistic voucherPreparation Types

Skin, skull, post-cranial skeletal, fluid preserved whole organisms, frozen tissue (heart, kidney, liver, lung, spleen, muscle, blood, ear clips), feces, cell suspensions, karyotype test slides, parasites (endo and ecto).

Type Specimens

The collection contains 24 holotypes, 65 paratypes, 22 viral symbiotypes and 185 parasite symbiotypes.


The MSB houses an extensive archive of field journals and catalogues that date to the 1900’s and are associated with specimens held in the collection.


Our average increase in cataloged specimens is over 10,000 per year.


Annually we process about 95 loans to researchers worldwide containing approximately 2,500 traditional voucher specimens or tissues.

Publications Citing MSB Mammal Specimens

Approximately 90 peer-reviewed publications or dissertation/theses cite MSB DOM specimens annually.

Educational Use

On average annually, 20 UNM courses and 10 K-12 schools make use of or visit the collections for coursework or presentations/tours.

Major Holdings of the Division of Mammals

264,000 specimens from the United States

39,000 specimens from high latitudes

  • 21,000 from Alaska
  • 14,500 from Canada
  • 3,500 from Siberia 
24,000 specimens from South America
  • 10,100 from Bolivia
  • 7,300 from Chile
  • 5,400 from Argentina
  • 400 from Brazil
  • 400 from Ecuador
  • 170 from Peru
  • 250 from Paraguay
  • 100 from Columbia
21,000 specimens from Mexico and Central America
  • 8,500 specimens from Mexico
  • 11,500 from Panama
  • 750 from Costa Rica
  • 150 from Honduras
9,000 specimens from Central and SE Asia
  • 6,750 from Mongolia
  • 900 from Japan
  • 500 from China
  • 400 from Indonesia
  • 250 from Malaysia
  • 200 from India
3,300 specimens from Africa
  • 1600 from Guinea
  • 850 from Zambia
  • 725 from Democratic Republic of the Congo (Zaire)
2,500 specimens from Europe
  • 1,800 from Hungary
  • 400 from Sweden
  • 150 from Finland
  • 80 from Germany
  • 70 from Greece

Major Acquisitions of the Division of Mammals

Four large collections have been recently integrated into the MSB:

  • University of Illinois Museum of Natural History collection - 32,750 specimens from SW US, Alaska, Latin America collected primarily by Donald Hoffmeister and Woody Goodpaster.
  • 30,000 mammal specimens owned by the U.S. Geological Survey were intergrated into the MSB collection in 2015. The collection contains large numbers of bats and rodents from Ferderal lands.
  • The Robert L. Rausch collection - 4,000 specimens from Alaska, Russia, and Canada which voucher his incomparable parasite collection now housed in the MSB Division of Parasitology.
  • 6,000 specimens (including 3,500 frozen tissues) from the NM Museum of Natural History and Science. Many from David Hafner’s work on high elevation Pika and desert taxa of Baja California.