Last week there were several sightings of a new pest. Colleagues especially from the U.S. and Germany reported having spotted unknown species in their galleries and storage areas. Even the administrator of this page was not spared, see the picture.
The odd thing is that this new pest seems to be only detectable by using smartphones or tablets. They seem to pass sticky traps unhindered. So far, museumpests.net has not listed them.As the senior and mid-career museum colleagues were clueless, some younger colleagues stepped up and offered help. They were able to catch some specimen and pointed to resources like this one to find out what was caught. It seems that they all belong to a family called “Pokémon” with a whole range of different species. The one depicted here seems to be called a “Pidgey”.
So far there was no immediate damage to collections reported. However, as registrars and collections managers we stand on guard. Some interns and student assistants pointed out that these pests can be trained and become much stronger, which doesn’t sound good. But they also pointed out that the real problem might be the trainers who want to catch more “pokémon” and therefore tend to ignore their own safety and the safety of their surroundings.
Being aware that we still do not know the extend of this new infestation, nor if it causes damage to collections, we at Registrar Trek have collected some recommendations on an new IPM – Integrated Pokémon Management:
- The trainers catching these “pokémon” might not be fully aware of their surroundings – remind them in an appropriate and polite way that they have to follow your house rules and respect the safekeeping measurements for your objects and fellow visitors.
- If there are serious issues with a gathering place of those creatures (“pokestops”) or places where trainers meet for challenges (“gyms”), you can report them on this website: https://support.pokemongo.nianticlabs.com/hc/en-us/articles/221968408-Reporting-Pok%C3%A9Stop-or-Gym-Issues, i.e. you can ask for having them removed from the game.
- As there are now a couple of people in the vicinity of your museum that might not be the typical visitors but maybe an audience you like to involve more – how about talking to them, learning what they are interested in and inviting them inside? How about a reduced entrance fee for pokémon trainers that are first time visitors? (unlike pokémon, you don’t have to catch them all, but attracting a few would be an idea…).
We keep watching this new phenomenon and might inform you on further ideas for Integrated Pokémon Management.
- Note that some of the boxes in the picture are positioned directly on the ground, which is NOT how you should store them. Unfortunately, the pokémon decided to pop up where we were preparing some objects for transportation, so you can see a collections management fail at the same time. Always level your boxes above ground, so they won’t be damaged by water or feet, folks! ↩
This post is also available in: German
Alert Programming! Vigilant curators, registrars, collections managers, and other behind the scenes staff have noted an uptick in the number of persons keenly interested in photographing artifacts and historic site structures in their quest for these creatures. Encourage “capture” as long as it is in public areas and not in violation of museum policy and try to engage these Pokemon-hordes in sharing the unique history, art and science they experience while they are in your museum! Online gamers have lots of friends and they like to invite them to play along, repeat visitors Yay!
Serious new pest threatens heritage collections world-wide. Have your pest management program updated.
These pests are capable of surviving all environmental controls. Beware! They are often found in packs and love storage facilities. They can be found on all shelving levels. Many infest the exterior of Historic Monuments such as the Columbus Street Watertower. Hordes of followers aare attracted to cemeteries. SURVIVAL IS NOT ASSURED!