Zoological collections

The University of Tartu Natural History Museum preserves the oldest zoological specimens in Estonia, these were collected in 1803–1809 by G. A. Germann, who was the chairman of the Cabinet of Natural History at that time. The Zoological museum was founded in 1822.

Presently ca 283 000 specimens are preserved there, prepared as required. In addition, ca 250 000 specimens of unprepared entomological materials are preserved on cotton wool. Mostly in entomological collections, ca 500 type specimens are preserved. The materials have been collected mostly in the northern part of Palearctic, some of it comes from elsewhere in the world as well.

The materials are: mammalian skins (2123 items), bird skins (8275 items), lower vertebrates – fish, amphibians, reptiles (both dry and wet materials, 1708 items), oological collections (15 914 items), osteological collections (ca 60 000), malacological collections (ca 82 700 items), entomological collections (ca 110 000 items).

The collections are used by researchers both from Estonia and from abroad.

General guidelines working with zoological collections

Database of Estonian zoological collections

Villu Soon
research fellow of zoology
E-mail: villu.soon@ut.ee