The Bavarian State Collection of Zoology

The Bavarian State Collection of Zoology

Systematics is a basic biological discipline that investigates and describes the biodiversity on our planet. The science conducted at the Bavarian State Collection involves research on the taxonomy, phylogeny, and natural history of animals, and provides an adequate and sustainable depository for zoological specimens.

The ZSM is, with almost 22 million zoological objects (labels), one of the largest natural history collections in the world. Many of these specimens have been collected by staff and other collectors during the 200 year long history of the ZSM. One of our main aims is to protect the enormous biological information associated with each zoological object and to make this information available to the scientific and general public.

The Barcoding Fauna Bavarica project is an all species DNA barcoding campaign of the Zoologische Staatssammlung and the Canadian Centre for DNA Barcoding (CCDB). It represents a major component of Germany’s contribution to the International Barcode of Life Project.

The research conducted at the ZSM on taxonomic, systematic, biological, and biogeographical topics, and the documentation and dissemination of this information, provides the biosystematic basis for research projects focusing on issues of biodiversity, conservation, evolution, and ecology.

The ZSM consists of several sections according to major taxa of the animal kingdom. In addition, there are several externally funded projects.

The library of the ZSM holds more than 90.000 books and about 1500 current journals. The most valuable part of the library is the collection of historical books going back to the 16th century.