Mammal Images Library

About the Committee



  • Mounir Abi-Said
  • Brad R. Blood
  • Brent Huffman
  • Jonathan S. Keller
  • Giridhar Malla
  • Lawrence L. Master
  • Antonella Panebianco
  • John S. Scheibe
  • Brian P. Tanis
  • Ginny Turner

History and Mission

The Mammal Images Library is a nonprofit educational program of the American Society of Mammalogists with the primary goal of providing low-cost images of mammals for use in educational purposes worldwide.  The American Society of Mammalogists established the Mammal Images Library (MIL) in 1977.  The library contains over 6000 images representing 27 orders, 163 families, 887 genera, and 2000+ species of extant or recently extinct mammals from all continents. By 2004, all the slides in the library were scanned to digital format to be consistent with current technology for long term storage and electronic delivery and are available in low and high resolution files.  In addition to use by nonprofit organizations and instructional institutions, many of the images can be employed (with permission) for other purposes, including commercial uses.  See here to view the image gallery.


Images.— The primary activity of the MIL is to make digital images available for optical projection for nonprofit instruction.  Low resolution images can be downloaded free from the MIL website.  High resolution images must be requested from the committee chair; a $5 handling fee is normally charged for each high resolution image where the use, as determined by the committee chair, is non-commercial and educational.

The online image gallery includes a low-resolution version of each image with a brief description of the image, date taken, location taken, photographer, geographic distribution of the species, and a classification of the species including an English common name.

Acquisitions.—The MIL exists only because of the generosity of its many contributors.  Unfortunately, many taxa are still missing or are poorly represented in our library.  An important activity remains identifying and acquiring new images for the library.  Anyone wanting to contribute images should peruse the list of desiderata under Files above and then contact the committee chair.

Changes in use of images.—The committee, through the image gallery, makes all contributed images available for nonprofit educational purposes.  Interaction between the committee chair and the contributor at the time of image acceptance into the library determines the conditions for other than optical projection of images for nonprofit educational use.  The agreement form, signed by both the contributor and the committee chair, specifies these conditions.

Royalties.—To facilitate the use of images for commercial purposes, the contributor's agreement identifies who is responsible for making decisions regarding royalties.  For images where the MIL is responsible for decisions regarding royalties, we normally charge a royalty fee of $50 for the commercial use of each high-resolution, library image.  The committee chair will direct all customers seeking commercial use of images for which contributor's agreements indicate that the contributor receives all royalties to the contributor for royalty negotiations.

Duties of the Chair

  1. Maintaining digital image library
  2. Updating contributor's agreements and development of database
  3. Advertising
  4. Producing Mammal Images Library display for annual meeting
  5. Acquiring images
  6. Responding to inquiries regarding use of images
  7. Liaising with the Informatics Committee (currently, the chair of that committee) for web site development and maintenance

Access the Image Library here.