Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

  • WHAT WILL HAPPEN TO MY SPECIMENS AFTER THEY ARE DONATED?

Data and any use restrictions for each sample will be entered into the AMNH Mammalogy collections database. Every individual animal that is sampled is given a unique, permanent number in the AMNH collections. Donated tissue and hair samples will be transferred directly to the AMNH Ambrose Monell Cryo Collection (AMCC). The AMCC is a dedicated frozen tissue repository designed to house approximately one million frozen tissue samples stored in liquid nitrogen. It was opened in 2001 and is the American Museum of Natural History's newest research collection.

 

  • DO SAMPLES NEED TO BE FROM FRESH SPECIMENS?

No, samples collected from carcasses found in caves or under wind turbines may be submitted as long as the bats are identified prior to sampling.

  • CAN I DONATE WHOLE BATS?

At this time we will only accept tissue samples, wing punches, and hair samples.

  • CAN YOU PROVIDE PROTOCOLS DESCRIBING HOW TO COLLECT WING PUNCHES AND HAIR SAMPLES FROM LIVE BATS?

Yes. Please see the wing punch and hair sampling protocols page.

  • IF I WANT TO DONATE TISSUE SAMPLES OR WING PUNCHES, CAN YOU PROVIDE ME WITH EMPTY SAMPLE TUBES?

Yes. We can provide tubes with pre-applied bar codes, and we can send them empty or with preservative already inside. Contact Dr. Nancy Simmons (simmons@amnh.org) for more information.

 

  • HOW SHOULD I SHIP MY SPECIMENS TO YOU AND WHO WILL PAY FOR IT?

If your specimens are frozen, they should be packed on dry ice or sent in a dry shipper charged with liquid nitrogen. The AMNH can provide a dry shipper with advance notice. The AMNH will pay shipping charges by providing you with a FedEx account number when you are ready to send your specimens. Contact Dr. Nancy Simmons (simmons@amnh.org) for more information.

  • WHAT ABOUT RABIES?

Only those who have received rabies prophylaxis should handle freshly dead bats or tissues that have not been preserved. We do not test donated specimens for rabies or any other diseases; it is the responsibility of researchers to handle specimens appropriately and take reasonable precautions. If rabies testing is done before specimens are donated, we will not accept animals that are known to be rabies positive. Click here for more information about rabies (PDF).