Museum of Vertebrate Zoology Collections

The Museum of Vertebrate Zoology (MVZ) was founded in 1908 on the philosphy that organisms should be studied in relationship to their natural environments. As a consequence, the Museum has accumulated extensive collections that connect specimens or observations with fieldnotes, photographs, and tape-recorded vocalizations. These linkages among different kinds of material enhance the value of the collections to researchers for studies of evolution, ecology, behavior, and conservation.

Because of this philosophy, there are strong research links between the Museum and the Hastings Natural History Reservation. In addition, the MVZ is actively engaged in developing concepts and tools for documenting biodiversity across space and time through collaborations with the Berkeley Natural History Museums, VertNet, the Global Biodiversity Information Facility, and other Biodiversity Informatics projects.

A grant from the National Science Foundation (DBI-0646475) provided funds to digitize and catalog the MVZ's collection of audio recordings, take digital photographs of its egg and nest specimens, and scan the original egg/nest data slips which hold valuable information on nesting behavior and ecology. These digital media are now linked to associated MVZ specimens or observations that can be searched in our Arctos database. This website highlights such linkages for birds from the Hastings Natural History Reservation.