Beginning in 1872, he studied zoology at the Imperial University of Warsaw. From 1875 to 1882, he collected zoological specimens in South America, primarily in Peru, and from 1882 to 1884, he lived and worked in Ecuador. He collected several hundred species of birds from South America, with some of the specimens being little known or entirely unknown to European ornithologists. In 1884, he returned to Warsaw, where in 1887 he was appointed director of the Branickich zoological museum.
Taxa with the specific epithet of stolzmanni commemorate his name.
Among his written works was a 1926 treatise on the European bison, titled Żubr, jego historia, obyczaje i przyszłość (The wisent, its history, behavior and future). Other significant works by Sztolcman are:
- Ornitologia łowiecka (1905) – Ornithological hunting.
- Wspomnienia z podróży (volumes 1, 2); (1912) – Memoirs of the journey.
- Szkice ornitologiczne (1916) – Ornithological sketches.
- Jan Sztolcman: myśliwy, który uratował żubra - Histmag (biography)
- Helm Dictionary of Scientific Bird Names by James A. Jobling
- "List of published works copied from an equivalent article at the Polish Wikipedia".
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