The methods of animal taxidermy depend on the species and purpose of use. The majority of the mammals and birds stuffed for accessioning into the museum collections have been found dead in nature or have died in zoos.
Artistic talent

As professional taxidermists handle a wide range of natural materials, they must have good basic knowledge of zoology and botany. They must also be able to use anatomical casts, photos, literature, wildlife videos and other such material.

Mounted animals are unique artworks. Accordingly, scientific taxidermists are expected to have not just the technical skills required to use various materials and substances, but also artistic talent, a sense of scale and an eye for colour.

Taxidermists mostly work indoors, but must occasionally complete preliminary tasks in a variety of field conditions. Professional taxidermists are capable of participating independently in everything from exhibition design and production to the acquisition and maintenance of collections and specimens.

Qualification in scientific taxidermy

The Luomus taxidermy workshop provides apprenticeship training lasting two or three years. The trainees participate in workshop activities and help in building exhibitions. The training, implemented together with Helsingin Maalariammattikoulu, leads to a further vocational qualification.

Taxidermy as a profession

In Finland, some 30 individuals currently work as scientific taxidermists. They are mostly employed in natural history museums, designing, building, updating and maintaining exhibitions and collections. Some also work in the private sector, mainly carrying out commissioned work for hunters and recreational fishers. Therefore, taxidermists must be adept at customer service as well. In addition, a number of people pursue taxidermy as a hobby. The Finnish taxidermy association currently has about 130 members.

The Luomus taxidermists are responsible for the taxidermy of insects, birds, fish, reptiles and amphibians as well as skeleton preservation.