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The MVZ collections form the core of the Museumís research, conservation, and education programs. The collections, which number approximately 630,000 specimens, constitute a unique and permanent record of the past and present distributions of many terrestrial vertebrate species. Taxonomic and geographic representation of specimens reflects current and past research interests of the Museumís faculty, staff, and students. The historic emphasis on collecting series of specimens that serve as the bases for studies in evolution, morphology, behavior, ecology, and population genetics continues to the present.

The Museum also houses a collection of over 40,000 tissue samples for use in molecular analyses. The majority of these were taken in conjunction with voucher specimens which can be referred to for verification of results.

Complementing these collections is an extensive archive of photographs, correspondence, and field notebooks that date to the Museumís founding in 1908. These materials contain information about specimens and changing environmental conditions, primarily in California and the western United States, that is not recorded on specimen labels or catalog cards.


Mammal Collection Bird Collection Herp Collection Egg and Nest Collection Tissue Collection Special Collections

Click here for MVZ collection policies and documents.

Click here to query the MVZ database.

Click here to learn more about the MVZ Collections Information System.


Links of Interest

Natural Science Collections Alliance
Society for the Preservation of Natural History Collection
Integrated Taxonomic Information System
Taxonomic Database Working Group
Mammal Networked Information System


Research access to the collections is by appointment only. There is no public access. For more information, contact:

Museum of Vertebrate Zoology
University of California
3101 Valley Life Sciences Building
Berkeley, California   94720-3160   USA
Phone: (510) 642-3567
Fax: (510) 643-8238

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For questions, email: mvz@uclink4.berkeley.edu Rev. 10 Sept. 2002, CC
University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720, Copyright © 2002, The Regents of the University of California.