About Us

The National Wildlife Property Repository (Repository) near Denver, Colorado is a unique facility which serves the U.S. Fish and

Wildlife Service, Office of Law Enforcement (OLE) by receiving and storing wildlife and wildlife products seized and forfeited during OLE’s investigation and inspection activities. No live wildlife is stored at the facility, but there are roughly 1.4 million items in inventory from whale products to rhino parts, mounted tigers to monkey skulls.

The species represented at the Repository are too numerous to list, but may be found as mounted specimens, tanned/untanned skins, skeletal remains, tourist curios (curiosities), and voluminous amounts of products derived from threatened or endangered species such as elephants, tigers, rhinos, sea turtles, Tibetan antelope, marine mammals, and many more. Despite the large inventory it is noteworthy that the items represented at the Repository only amount to a fraction of the volume of items involved in the unlawful wildlife trade.

The Repository receives property from OLE special agents and wildlife inspectors throughout the United States and U.S. Territories. Received items can then be shipped out for education programs, to further scientific research, and even aid current law enforcement investigations.

The National Wildlife Property Repository is housed in the same facility as the National Eagle Repository which serves to provide Native Americans with the feathers of golden and bald for religious and cultural purposes.

Our Mission

The mission of the National Wildlife Property Repository is responsible for receiving wildlife items that have been forfeited or abandoned to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.  In accordance with the law, these items are stored in a secure environment, and many of the items are loaned to educational facilities, nonprofit organizations and conservation agencies to aid in teaching about endangered species and other wildlife.  Other items are sent to scientific institutions to be used in research to develop better identification methods to protect wildlife.  


  • Receive forfeited or abandoned wildlife property from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service special agents and wildlife inspectors
  • Inventory, store and provide security for confiscated wildlife property
  • Loan wildlife property to USFWS office, other federal, state and municipal government offices, public and educational and/or scientific institutions
  • Develop and provide educational programs regarding wildlife regulations and wildlife trade
Our History

The National Wildlife Property Repository relocated from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s National Forensics Lab in Ashland, Oregon to Denver, Colorado in June 1995. The Forensics Lab was constructed in 1988 and by 1995 there were plans to expand the Lab for the inclusion of new technology and staff.

The ever expanding collection of wildlife property had surpassed the Lab's need for these items as standards. This excess, along with the increased demand for biofacts for educational, scientific, and law enforcement programs was using up valuable space and redirecting precious staff time to the business of running a repository. The property inventory was primarily managed by volunteers with oversight by Lab personnel.

In 1995, the Special Agent in Charge for the Mountain Prairie Region was directed to devise a plan to prepare and successfully transport the thousands of property items stored at the Lab to a central location within the Mountain Prairie region. Through successful partnering with U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Regional leadership and the U.S. Army a suitable building was found at the Rocky Mountain Arsenal which has since transitioned from a super fund cleanup site to a premier urban national wildlife refuge national wildlife refuge
A national wildlife refuge is typically a contiguous area of land and water managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service  for the conservation and, where appropriate, restoration of fish, wildlife and plant resources and their habitats for the benefit of present and future generations of Americans.

Learn more about national wildlife refuge
near Denver, Colorado. With a small group of dedicated staff and volunteers and a small appropriation of funds the National Eagle and Wildlife Property Repository opened in July 1995 in a small building on the refuge.

In 2001 the Repository moved to its present building on the Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge and underwent renovation for an eagle and wildlife processing area, an education room and additional office space. In 2021 the Repository is undergoing the largest renovation and construction to date.  The new updates include a larger education room with a distance learning studio, front entrance renovation, a loading dock sally port, a dermestid beetle colony room, wash stations in processing labs, and numerous updates to the warehouse including; HVAC, lighting, temperature and humidity control and new modernized shelving to hold the approximately 1.4 million items currently housed in our 22,000 square foot facility.