Collection of vertebrate voucher specimens

Ever since the institute was founded in the 1950s, considerable efforts have been made to build collections of biological material. The beginnings of a classical collection were provided by Prof. Josef Kratochvíl, who brought to the newly emerging institute part of the collection from the Department of Zoology at the University of Agriculture in Brno. Since then, the collection has been supplemented continuously, though at different time periods with different intensity. The collection mainly consists of osteological specimens, such as skulls and whole skeletons of mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians and fish, though the small mammal skin collection is also numerous and rich in species. From a geographical perspective, most of the Institute of Vertebrate Biology’s (IVB) Collection of vertebrate voucher specimens come from the Czech Republic and Slovakia (former Czechoslovakia); however, there are also numerous mammal specimens from the Balkans, Russia, Egypt, Afghanistan, Senegal and many other European and non-European countries, gathered by institute researchers during scientific expeditions. By 2020, the collection housed more than 44 000 registered specimens, representing 209 mammal species (42 000 specimens), 150 bird species (1 600 specimens), 31 fish species (412 specimens) and a few reptile and amphibian species. Early additions to the collection include the Type Individuals for the Tatra pine vole, Microtus tatricus (Kratochvíl, 1952)and Tatra marmot, Marmota marmota latirostris Kratochvíl, 1961, while more recently collected material includes a collection of small African rodent skulls collected continuously since 2010. While the collection is usually supplemented with material collected during approved research projects, cadavers of rarer species, such as large carnivores, also occasionally become available. While data on the vertebrate specimens available at the IVB have only been partially digitised and have yet to be published, it is possible to visit the collection and material is available to researchers on request from the curator.

Contact – IVB Collection of vertebrate voucher specimens curator

Václav Prášek +420 737 838 250,

Jiří Chamr