Specimens in the Mammalogy collection are acquired primarily through fieldwork, but also through donations from individuals and organizations and from collections at other institutions. The primary purpose of the collection is for scientific research being conducted by members of the Royal Alberta Museum's Mammalogy Program, by researchers from other departments in the museum, and by visiting scientists and students.
Specimens in the research collection are available for use by qualified researchers from other institutions. In addition to skins and skeletal material, whole taxidermied mounts may occasionally be used by educators from post-secondary institutions to support specific aspects of their curriculum. Beyond the specimens in the research collection, the mammalogy collection also consists of specimens and objects that are part of a reference collection.
This collection is used to support the activities of the museum's exhibits department and, on occasion, are loaned to qualified institutions for use in displays. Specimens and objects that are part of the interpretive collection are available to support the museum's education and outreach activities. The interpretive collection is used almost exclusively to support the activities of the museum's education and public programs departments.