Scientists at the Royal Saskatchewan Museum (RSM) estimate there could be upwards of 100,000 specimens of insects, small rodents and snakes collected across southern Saskatchewan this summer during the 2013 RSM “Bio-Blitz” wildlife survey. In advance of this huge increase in the province’s permanent collections, the RSM has received a $44,000 grant from the federal government through the Museums Assistance Program (MAP) to purchase new museum-quality storage cabinets to care for the museum’s current insect collections and the expected additions.
“The new cabinets will allow for the significant growth in the number of specimens in the permanent insect collection that is anticipated as a result of research by RSM scientists,” Curator of Invertebrate Zoology Dr. Cory Sheffield said. “The cabinets will be larger and taller, with more usable space. Airtight when closed, they will protect the specimens from deterioration associated with pests, off-gassing, vibration and other causes.”
The provincial insect collections housed at the RSM contain more than 130,000 specimens, and include insects collected as far back as the late 1800’s. The insect collections at the RSM are of national and international scientific interest and value. They also provide the specimens used in the exhibits that visitors can experience whenever they visit the RSM. With the hiring of Dr. Sheffield, one of Canada’s preeminent bee-biologists, the RSM is moving toward becoming a recognized centre of bee and pollinator research in Canada and around the world.
To learn more about research and collections at the RSM, visit the museum at the corner of Albert Street and College Avenue in Regina, or go online at www.royalsaskmuseum.ca/research-collections.
To read current blogs from RSM scientists and researchers in the lab and in the field, check out www.royalsaskmuseum.ca/blog.