The AOU Collections Committee works closely with the Ornithological Council to provide input on a variety of permit issues, including:
- USFWS permits for scientific collecting and import/export of North American migratory birds, and for import/export of CITES-listed species
- USDA Agriculture Animal & Plant Health Inspection Service permits for import, transport, and housing of bird specimens, tissues, and other parts (e.g., feathers)
- Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee regulations pertaining to animal welfare and animal use protocols
The Committee encourages North American researchers to solicit assistance from us or the Ornithological Council on permit-related issues or problems.
To facilitate international research collaboration and exchange of specimens, the Committee encourages foreign institutions to register with their national CITES Management Authority if their country is a party to CITES. Registration will enable institutions to obtain a Certificate of Scientific Exchange pursuant to Article VII (paragraph 6) of the Convention.
- USDA Application for Import/Transport of Controlled Materials (+ Cover Page, PDF)
- USDA Online Application for Import/Transport of Controlled Materials (HTML)
- USFWS Application Forms (HTML)
- USFWS Import/Export Information (HTML)
- USFWS Form 3-177 and Continuation Sheet: Declaration of Import/Export (PDF)
- USFWS Form 3-177 Instructions (PDF)
- USFWS Species Lists (HTML)
- USFWS Ports (HTML)
- USFWS CITES List of Registered Institutions (HTML)
- USFWS CITES List of National Contacts (HTML)
Valuable information on permits and permitting is posted on the Ornithological Council's Permits page. This includes an important new guide (PDF) for import/export of bird specimens and bird products, which was compiled by Ellen Paul in consultation with USFWS and USDA officials as well as museum curators. Anyone who plans to import or export scientific specimens or their parts should consult this guide for regulatory procedures.
The AOU has published several surveys on bird collections, including:
- Kiff, L. F. and D. J. Hough. 1985. Inventory of bird egg collections of North America, 1985. American Ornithologists' Union and Oklahoma Biological Survey, Norman, Oklahoma. 259pp.
- Wood, D. S. and M. A. Jenkinson. 1984. World inventory of avian anatomical specimens: geographical analysis. American Ornithologists' Union and Oklahoma Biological Survey, Normal, Oklahoma. 290pp.
- Wood, D. S. and G. D. Schnell. 1986. Revised world inventory of avian skeletal specimens, 1986. American Ornithologists' Union and Oklahoma Biological Survey, Normal, Oklahoma. 296pp.
- Wood, D. S., Zusi, R. L., and M. A. Jenkinson. 1982. World inventory of avian spirit specimens, 1982. American Ornithologists' Union and Oklahoma Biological Survey, Normal, Oklahoma. 181pp.
A tissue collection survey of North American and foreign institutions includes general information on specimen collections, contacts, and tissue holdings (for more information on the tissue survey, see the AOU Tissue Collections page). We encourage additional institutions to complete the survey form, even if they do not maintain a tissue collection (Questions 1 through 5). Lists of museum research collections of birds also are provided by AVECOL and BIRDNET.
A survey of Neotropical Ornithology Collections (DOC), sorted by country, includes information on institutional name, location, web address, and number of specimens. This survey was compiled in 2005 and includes 107 institutions.
Members of the AOU Collections Committee (A. Town Peterson, Carla Cicero) are Principal Investigators on a community-wide effort to develop an ORNithological Information System for North American bird collections. This is a 5-year project (2004-2009) funded by the National Science Foundation that involves over 30 museums in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico.