According to a position statement issued by the Entomological Society of America, entomological collections and the staff that maintain them are “an irreplaceable historical reference” and are “of vital importance to current and future life scientists.” The statement, issued in January 2016, calls for the protection of “these irreplaceable resources, upon which the bulk of our scientific knowledge relies.”

Approximately 500 million entomological collections are preserved in the United States and Canada. Such specimens allow rapid identification of invasive pests, are used in research, and aid biodiversity conservation efforts.

“Despite these many contributions, funding cuts, collections staff reductions, and insufficient training of future taxonomists endanger both collections and the expertise required to care for and use them… The unfortunate results of this system-wide attrition of staff are reduced access for research, longer loan processing times, delayed response to inquiries, loss of diagnostic services, and closing of selected parts or entire collections when no staff are available to support them.”

Read the full statement.