Natural History Collection

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The park's collection includes a birds nest made of natural materials, and bright pink feathers!  How did this happen?  The answer is linked to Skagway's long tourism history.


Over 400 plant specimens were collected in 1993 from Dyea, the Chilkoot Trail and White Pass Unit in a reconnaissance-level natural resource inventory project. Other specimens have been collected since and the result has been the creation of a quality scientific voucher collection. In 2008, a lichens study and inventory were conducted which added hundreds of lichen specimens to the park collection. At this time the park has 5,739 catalogued herbarium specimens that have been carefully documented and identified. There are 40 voucher fish specimens, 9 mammal or bird specimens and two nests in the collection. Furthermore, all records, data and reports are maintained as part of the museum collection.

Explore the Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park Museum Collection and more with the National Park Service's online museum.


The Natural History Collection

The items found in our parks natural history collection are all classified under biology. The majority of the items preserved are plants. The collections herbarium houses over 400 plant specimens. Most of the plants come from a 1993 reconnaissance-level natural resource inventory project. Collected from parts of the parks Chilkoot trail and White Pass unit. These plants help the natural resources team in monitoring plant diversity. In 2008 there was another team that set out to collect lichen samples for the collection. The result was over 200 types of lichen added to the herbarium. The variety of types collected shows that this area of Alaska has one of the most diverse lichen populations in the world. To date the park has over 5,000 plant specimens in the collection.

There are also zoological items in the natural history collection. The zoological collection is not as large as the plant collection, but they are just as interesting. The collection houses 40 voucher fish specimens, 9 mammal or bird specimens and two nests. Many of the birds in the collection come from the city of Skagway. Most of the fish and mammals came from outside the city. These specimens help by acting as a control group for the natural resources team and their ongoing projects.

Altogether, the natural history collection contains 8,364 specimens. These specimens record the diversity in Skagway and the surrounding area.

Last updated: April 25, 2018

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Mailing Address:

Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park
P.O. Box 517

Skagway, AK 99840


(907) 983-9200

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