Collecting and conservation
Collecting specimens for scientific research is often necessary, but never as important as preserving the living species or habitat.
Carefully collecting a few specimens of an abundant species will not damage populations of that species. However, if that species is endangered, or rare, we will not collect any specimens, just information and images of it.
Today the Museum only takes specimens from the wild if there is a defined research need. Collecting is also controlled by strict legislation and requires a series of permits and licenses.
There are some species that it is widely considered unethical to collect. For example, we do not collect primates in the wild.
We do not collect on our own or solely for ourselves. Nearly all of our collecting is collaborative. We also adhere to laws regulating bioprospecting - we ensure that benefits gained from a nation's biodiversity are shared fairly with that nation.