BROWN, Wilmot W.

From Islapedia


BROWN, Wilmot Wood (1868-1953), American naturalist born on May 19, 1868 in Charlestown, Massachusetts to his namesake father and Anne L. Brown. He was a tireless collector of plant and animal specimens for more than 60 years. His collection of more than 18,000 bird specimens is spread over 25 institutions.

  • Central America (1888-1899), visiting Columbia for the Outram Bangs collection
  • Tobago (1892)
  • Panama (1900-1904)
  • Mexico expedition sponsored by John Thayer (1906-1909; 1923)

Brown collected throughout the Caribbean; northern South America, including Colombia and Panama; and principally throughout Mexico, where he was based for more than 40 years, forming one of the most important collections ever amassed for that country. He collected more than 750 specimens now classified as some form of type specimen, and at least eight taxa are named in his honor, including two reptiles, a mammal, and five birds. Although he sent regular, detailed correspondence back to his benefactors in the United States, he never published a single professional article, and no field journal has been located, leaving his legacy obscured. In an era of lax data collection and fraudulent collectors, Brown's specimens and associated data have proven to be of high quality and help form the basis for our current understanding of New World biodiversity, although his legacy is marred by his disregard for the conservation plight of the species he collected. [Clark, Kevin B. Wilmot W. Brown, one of the most prolific collectors of the vertebrate fauna of the New World Bulletin of the Museum of Comparative Zoology 162(6): 347-378, (30 January 2020)]

Brown traveled to Colombia to collect birds in 1897. In 1900 he continued on into Panama with the aim of amassing the most complete collection of birds and mammals from the isthmus; a talented illustrator and taxidermist he also collected reptiles, amphibians, fish and some trees and shrubs, sending them back to institutions in the U.S.A. During the war of a thousand days he was actively collecting amongst the rebel forces and the locals would comment "El gringo Brown está loco". While based in Divalá, Panama Brown fell in love with Leonor Arauz and together they had a daughter.

In 1906 Brown, H. W. Marsden and Ignacio Oroso were sponsored by John Thayer to undertake an expedition in Mexico, traveling to the Island of Guadalupe in 1906 where they gathered data on the local vegetation and wildlife that was being destroyed by goats. From this time until 1909 Brown was in southern California, still collecting for Thayer, and sent an important collection of reptile specimens to the American Museum of Natural History.

The native Guadalupe storm petrel was being predated by introduced cats, as was the Guadalupe flicker. Both birds became extinct shortly afterwards; several other taxa were found to be already gone in 1906. Thayer and Outram Bangs wrote an article in The Condor to draw attention to the situation.

W. W. Brown died on July 10, 1953 at the Hotel Mexico, Chilpancingo, Guerrero, Mexico. He was buried in the local cemetery. Brown was 81 years old. His death certificate lists his sister, Mrs. Alice E. Adams of Hollywood, California and his nephew, Robert H. Adams of Pacific Palisades, California, as relatives.


The 1920 census lists Wilmot Brown and his wife, Grace, living in Garces, Arizona.

Wilmot W. Brown, Jr. = Grace (1868- )


  • 1901. Bangs, Outram The Mammals collected in San Miguel Island, Panama by W. W. Brown American Naturalist 35: 631-644, 1902


Wilmot Brown collected on:



In the News~

May 28, 1893 [The Boston Globe]: “Wilmot W. Brown, Jr., of Sommerville, is exploring the forests of Yucatan for specimens of natural history, is at the latest advices about to ascend the Rio Lagatos [sic] river. He expects to finish his explorations in Yucatan about June 1.”


July 27, 1893 [The Indianapolis News]: “Wilmot W. Brown, Jr., the Boston naturalist who has been exploring the forests of Yucatan for specimens, has just returned to that city with a large collection of birds and animals.”


December 14, 1919 [Tombstone Weekly]: “Arizona birds to for big part of Gotham Museum. Phoenix, Dec. 9.— The American Museum of Natural History of New York will be enrigched by a collection of 356 birds, most of them of exceptionally rare species, as the result of the activities during the last year of Wilmot W. Brown. These birds were slain under a special permit issued by State Game Warden Prochaska, for scientific purposes, and will result in great advertisement to the state, in the opinion of the warden. Brown and his wife have made a permanent camp in Ramsey Canyon, in the Huachuca mountains in the southwestern portion of Cochise county and from this point they have scoured the country round about. So interesting has the work become that Brown has asked for an extension of his permit until June 1. This will be granted. Prochaska has hopes of inducing the state to found a natural history museum, but until that time comes, he says, he is glad to see Arizona birds called to the attention of the public by being placed in eastern museums.”


ISLA CEDROS
ISLAND COLLECTOR INSTITUTION DATE NUMBER SPECIMEN
Isla Cedros Wilmot W. Brown MCZ March 27, 1906 MCZ-315038 Thryomanes bewickii cerroensis Birds
Isla Cedros Wilmot W. Brown MCZ March 30, 1906 MCZ-115918 Thryomanes bewickii cerroensis Birds
Isla Cedros Wilmot W. Brown MCZ March 30, 1906 MCZ-305558 Pandion haliaetus Birds
Isla Cedros Wilmot W. Brown MCZ April 1, 1906 MCZ-12087 Mus Musculus Mammals
Isla Cedros Wilmot W. Brown MCZ April 1, 1906 MCZ-306224 Carduelis psaltria hesperophila Birds
Isla Cedros Wilmot W. Brown MCZ April 1, 1906 MCZ-306225 Carduelis psaltria hesperophila Birds
Isla Cedros Wilmot W. Brown MCZ April 3, 1906 MCZ-315144 Thryomanes bewickii cerroensis Birds
Isla Cedros Wilmot W. Brown MCZ April 4, 1906 MCZ-12093 Peromyscus eremicus cedrosensis Mammals
Isla Cedros Wilmot W. Brown MCZ April 5, 1906 MCZ-305557 Pandion haliaetus Birds
Isla Cedros Wilmot W. Brown MCZ April 6, 1906 MCZ-12094 Peromyscus eremicus cedrosensis Mammals
Isla Cedros Wilmot W. Brown MCZ April 6, 1906 MCZ-306223 Carduelis psaltria hesperophila Birds
Isla Cedros Wilmot W. Brown MCZ April 6, 1906 MCZ-315143 Thryomanes bewickii cerroensis Birds
Isla Cedros Wilmot W. Brown MCZ April 10, 1906 MCZ-12099 Neotoma bryanti Mammals
Isla Cedros Wilmot W. Brown MCZ April 10, 1906 MCZ-12102 Neotoma bryanti Mammals
Isla Cedros Wilmot W. Brown MCZ April 10, 1906 MCZ-115920 Thryomanes bewickii cerroensis Birds
Isla Cedros Wilmot W. Brown MCZ April 10, 1906 MCZ-315141 Thryomanes bewickii cerroensis Birds
Isla Cedros Wilmot W. Brown MCZ April 10, 1906 MCZ-315147 Thryomanes bewickii cerroensis Birds
Isla Cedros Wilmot W. Brown MCZ April 11, 1906 MCZ-12088 Peromyscus cedrosensis Mammals
Isla Cedros Wilmot W. Brown MCZ April 12, 1906 MCZ-12096 Peromyscus eremicus cedrosensis Mammals
Isla Cedros Wilmot W. Brown MCZ April 12, 1906 MCZ-12107 Neotoma bryanti Mammals
Isla Cedros Wilmot W. Brown MCZ April 13, 1906 MCZ-12090 Peromyscus eremicus cedrosensis Mammals
Isla Cedros Wilmot W. Brown MCZ April 13, 1906 MCZ-12095 Peromyscus eremicus cedrosensis Mammals
Isla Cedros Wilmot W. Brown MCZ April 13, 1906 MCZ-12091 Peromyscus eremicus cedrosensis Mammals
Isla Cedros Wilmot W. Brown MCZ April 13, 1906 MCZ-12104 Neotoma bryanti Mammals
Isla Cedros Wilmot W. Brown MCZ April 13, 1906 MCZ-12105 Neotoma bryanti Mammals
Isla Cedros Wilmot W. Brown MCZ April 14, 1906 MCZ-12089 Peromyscus eremicus cedrosensis Mammals
Isla Cedros Wilmot W. Brown MCZ April 14, 1906 MCZ-12092 Neotoma bryanti Mammals
Isla Cedros Wilmot W. Brown MCZ April 14, 1906 MCZ-12097 Neotoma bryanti Mammals
Isla Cedros Wilmot W. Brown MCZ April 14, 1906 MCZ-12103 Neotoma bryanti Mammals
Isla Cedros Wilmot W. Brown MCZ April 15, 1906 MCZ-12108 Neotoma bryanti Mammals
Isla Cedros Wilmot W. Brown MCZ April 17, 1906 MCZ-315140 Thryomanes bewickii cerroensis Birds
Isla Cedros Wilmot W. Brown MCZ April 17, 1906 MCZ-315142 Thryomanes bewickii cerroensis Birds
Isla Cedros Wilmot W. Brown MCZ April 19, 1906 MCZ-12106 Neotoma bryanti Mammals
Isla Cedros W. W. Brown MCZ April 19, 1906 MCZ-305449 Mimus polyglottos leucopterus Birds
Isla Cedros W. W. Brown MCZ April 19, 1906 MCZ-305450 Mimus polyglottos leucopterus Birds
Isla Cedros Wilmot W. Brown MCZ April 20, 1906 MCZ-12100 Neotoma bryanti Mammals
Isla Cedros Wilmot W. Brown MCZ April 20, 1906 MCZ-12101 Neotoma bryanti Mammals


ISLA GUADALUPE
ISLAND COLLECTOR INSTITUTION DATE NUMBER SPECIMEN
Isla Guadalupe Wilmot W. Brown MCZ April 28, 1906 MCZ-12085 Mus Musculus Mammals
Isla Guadalupe Wilmot W. Brown MCZ April 30, 1906 MCZ-12084 Mus Musculus Mammals
Isla Guadalupe Wilmot W. Brown AMNH April 30, 1906 AMNH-99884 Haemorhous mexicanus amplus Birds
Isla Guadalupe Wilmot W. Brown AMNH May 2, 1906 AMNH-99882 Haemorhous mexicanus amplus Birds
Isla Guadalupe Wilmot W. Brown MCZ May 3, 1906 MCZ-12082 Mus Musculus Mammals
Isla Guadalupe Wilmot W. Brown MCZ May 3, 1906 MCZ-12083 Mus Musculus Mammals
Isla Guadalupe Wilmot W. Brown AMNH May 4, 1906 AMNH-99880 Haemorhous mexicanus amplus Birds
Isla Guadalupe W. W. Brown SDNHM May 5, 1906 AMNH-99890 Salpinctes guadalupensis Birds
Isla Guadalupe Wilmot W. Brown MCZ May 6, 1906 MCZ-305381 Colaptes cafer rufipileus Birds
Isla Guadalupe Wilmot W. Brown MCZ May 6, 1906 MCZ-305384 Colaptes cafer rufipileus Birds
Isla Guadalupe Wilmot W. Brown MCZ May 6, 1906 MCZ-305385 Colaptes cafer rufipileus Birds
Isla Guadalupe Wilmot W. Brown AMNH May 7, 1906 AMNH-99872 Athene cunicularia hypugaea Birds
Isla Guadalupe Wilmot W. Brown AMNH May 8, 1906 AMNH-99873 Athene cunicularia hypugaea Birds
Isla Guadalupe Wilmot W. Brown AMNH May 9, 1906 AMNH-754928 Colaptes auratus rufipileus Birds
Isla Guadalupe Wilmot W. Brown AMNH May 9, 1906 AMNH-754931 Colaptes auratus rufipileus Birds
Isla Guadalupe Wilmot W. Brown AMNH May 9, 1906 AMNH-761303 Haemorhous mexicanus Birds
Isla Guadalupe Wilmot W. Brown AMNH May 9, 1906 AMNH-99883 Haemorhous mexicanus amplus Birds
Isla Guadalupe Wilmot W. Brown MCZ May 9, 1906 MCZ-115749 Colaptes cafer rufipileus Birds
Isla Guadalupe Wilmot W. Brown MCZ May 10, 1906 MCZ-305380 Colaptes cafer rufipileus Birds
Isla Guadalupe Wilmot W. Brown AMNH May 10, 1906 AMNH-99881 Haemorhous mexicanus amplus Birds
Isla Guadalupe Wilmot W. Brown MCZ May 11, 1906 MCZ-305387 Colaptes cafer rufipileus Birds
Isla Guadalupe Wilmot W. Brown MCZ May 12, 1906 MCZ-305392 Colaptes cafer rufipileus Birds
Isla Guadalupe Wilmot W. Brown MCZ May 13, 1906 MCZ-115939 Falco sparverius sparverius Birds
Isla Guadalupe W. W. Brown SDNHM May 13, 1906 AMNH-99891 Salpinctes guadalupensis Birds
Isla Guadalupe Wilmot W. Brown MCZ May 15, 1906 MCZ-306176 Falco sparverius sparverius Birds
Isla Guadalupe Wilmot W. Brown MCZ May 17, 1906 MCZ-12086 Mus Musculus Mammals
Isla Guadalupe Wilmot W. Brown MCZ May 18, 1906 MCZ-115748 Colaptes cafer rufipileus Birds
Isla Guadalupe Wilmot W. Brown MCZ May 18, 1906 MCZ-305395 Colaptes cafer rufipileus Birds
Isla Guadalupe Wilmot W. Brown MCZ May 18, 1906 MCZ-305388 Colaptes cafer rufipileus Birds
Isla Guadalupe Wilmot W. Brown MCZ May 20, 1906 MCZ-305377 Colaptes cafer rufipileus Birds
Isla Guadalupe Wilmot W. Brown MCZ May 20, 1906 MCZ-305379 Colaptes cafer rufipileus Birds
Isla Guadalupe Wilmot W. Brown MCZ May 20, 1906 MCZ-305383 Colaptes cafer rufipileus Birds
Isla Guadalupe Wilmot W. Brown MCZ May 20, 1906 MCZ-331402 Colaptes cafer rufipileus Birds
Isla Guadalupe Wilmot W. Brown AMNH May 20, 1906 AMNH-754929 Colaptes auratus rufipileus Birds
Isla Guadalupe Wilmot W. Brown AMNH May 24, 1906 AMNH-9988 Colaptes auratus rufipileus Birds
Isla Guadalupe Wilmot W. Brown UCLA May 24, 1906 UCLA-30731 Colaptes auratus rufipileus Birds
Isla Guadalupe Wilmot W. Brown MCZ May 24, 1906 MCZ-305391 Colaptes cafer rufipileus Birds
Isla Guadalupe Wilmot W. Brown MCZ May 24, 1906 MCZ-305394 Colaptes cafer rufipileus Birds
Isla Guadalupe Wilmot W. Brown AMNH May 25, 1906 AMNH-99876 Colaptes auratus rufipileus Birds
Isla Guadalupe Wilmot W. Brown AMNH May 25, 1906 AMNH-99877 Colaptes auratus rufipileus Birds
Isla Guadalupe Wilmot W. Brown AMNH May 26, 1906 AMNH-761290 Haemorhous mexicanus amplus Birds
Isla Guadalupe Wilmot W. Brown AMNH May 27, 1906 AMNH-754927 Colaptes auratus rufipileus Birds
Isla Guadalupe Wilmot W. Brown AMNH May 27, 1906 AMNH-754930 Colaptes auratus rufipileus Birds
Isla Guadalupe Wilmot W. Brown MCZ May 27, 1906 MCZ-305389 Colaptes cafer rufipileus Birds
Isla Guadalupe Wilmot W. Brown MCZ May 28, 1906 MCZ-305393 Colaptes cafer rufipileus Birds
Isla Guadalupe Wilmot W. Brown UCLA May 29, 1906 UCLA-30730 Oceanodroma macrodactyla Birds
Isla Guadalupe Wilmot W. Brown AMNH May 29, 1906 AMNH-740215 Oceanodroma macrodactyla Birds
Isla Guadalupe Wilmot W. Brown AMNH May 30, 1906 AMNH-749216 Oceanodroma macrodactyla Birds
Isla Guadalupe Wilmot W. Brown MCZ May 30, 1906 MCZ-149251 Colaptes cafer rufipileus Birds
Isla Guadalupe Wilmot W. Brown MCZ May 30, 1906 MCZ-305410 Colaptes cafer rufipileus Birds
Isla Guadalupe Wilmot W. Brown MCZ May 30, 1906 MCZ-306162 Puffinus puffinus opisthomelas Birds
Isla Guadalupe Wilmot W. Brown MCZ May 30, 1906 MCZ-306163 Puffinus puffinus opisthomelas Birds
Isla Guadalupe Wilmot W. Brown AMNH June 3, 1906 AMNH-99879 Colaptes auratus rufipileus Birds
Isla Guadalupe Wilmot W. Brown MCZ June 7, 1906 MCZ-331392 Colaptes cafer rufipileus Birds
Isla Guadalupe Wilmot W. Brown MCZ June 7, 1906 MCZ-305405 Colaptes cafer rufipileus Birds
Isla Guadalupe Wilmot W. Brown MCZ June 8, 1906 MCZ-149252 Colaptes cafer rufipileus Birds
Isla Guadalupe Wilmot W. Brown MCZ June 9, 1906 MCZ-305407 Colaptes cafer rufipileus Birds
Isla Guadalupe Wilmot W. Brown MCZ June 10, 1906 MCZ-306169 Falco sparverius sparverius Birds
Isla Guadalupe Wilmot W. Brown AMNH June 13, 1906 AMNH-99875 Athene cunicularia hypugaea Birds
Isla Guadalupe Wilmot W. Brown AMNH June 16, 1906 AMNH-99874 Athene cunicularia hypugaea Birds
Isla Guadalupe Wilmot W. Brown MVZ June 18, 1906 MVZ-50597 Colaptes cafer rufipileus Birds
Isla Guadalupe Wilmot W. Brown MVZ June 18, 1906 MVZ-50597 Colaptes cafer rufipileus Birds
Isla Guadalupe Wilmot W. Brown MCZ June 19, 1906 MCZ-305406 Colaptes cafer rufipileus Birds
Isla Guadalupe Wilmot W. Brown MCZ June 19, 1906 MCZ-115940 Falco sparverius sparverius Birds
Isla Guadalupe Wilmot W. Brown MCZ June 19, 1906 MCZ-306166 Falco sparverius sparverius Birds
Isla Guadalupe Wilmot W. Brown MCZ June 19, 1906 MCZ-306168 Falco sparverius sparverius Birds
Isla Guadalupe Wilmot W. Brown MCZ June 19, 1906 MCZ-306170 Falco sparverius sparverius Birds
Isla Guadalupe Wilmot W. Brown MCZ June 19, 1906 MCZ-306171 Falco sparverius sparverius Birds
Isla Guadalupe Wilmot W. Brown MCZ June 19, 1906 MCZ-306172 Falco sparverius sparverius Birds
Isla Guadalupe Wilmot W. Brown MCZ June 19, 1906 MCZ-306174 Falco sparverius sparverius Birds
Isla Guadalupe Wilmot W. Brown MCZ June 19, 1906 MCZ-306175 Falco sparverius sparverius Birds
Isla Guadalupe Wilmot W. Brown MCZ June 23, 1906 MCZ-115921 Diomedea nigripes Birds
Isla Guadalupe Wilmot W. Brown MCZ June 27, 1906 MCZ-8704 Mirounga angustirostris Mammals
Isla Guadalupe Wilmot W. Brown MCZ June 27, 1906 MCZ-306164 Puffinus griseus Birds
Isla Guadalupe Wilmot W. Brown & John E. Thayer UCM June 28, 1906 UCM-3584 Diomedea nigripes Birds
Isla Guadalupe Wilmot W. Brown MCZ June 30, 1906 MCZ-306165 Puffinus griseus Birds
Isla Guadalupe Wilmot W. Brown MCZ July 27, 1906 MCZ-8038 Mirounga angustirostris Mammals
Isla Guadalupe Wilmot W. Brown & John E. Thayer [?] UCM June 28, 1906 UCM-3584 Diomedea nigripes Birds


ISLA NATIVIDAD
ISLAND COLLECTOR INSTITUTION DATE NUMBER SPECIMEN
Isla Natividad W. W. Brown MCZ April 14, 1906 MCZ-358698 Pandion haliaetus Birds
Isla Natividad Wilmot W. Brown MCZ April 19, 1906 MCZ-12098 Peromyscus maniculatus geronimensis Mammals
Isla Natividad Wilmot W. Brown MCZ April 19, 1906 MCZ-12098 Peromyscus maniculatus geronimensis Mammals



ISLA TODOS SANTOS
ISLAND COLLECTOR INSTITUTION DATE NUMBER SPECIMEN
Isla Todos Santos W. W. Brown AMNH July 17, 1912 AMNH-749009 Puffinus griseus Birds