Scientific Collections, preserved in the NMNHS, BAS

The scientific collections preserved in the National Museum of Natural History, Sofia are the most representative of this type on the Balkan Peninsula. They incorporate nearly a million and a half specimens and samples including over 460 mammal species and over 1990 bird species. The reptile and amphibian collection is one of the richest in Europe. The insects account for some 480000 specimens, the other invertebrates are over 300000 as well. The museum preserves around one fourth of the mineral species from around the world and more than 30000 samples of fossil invertebrates. The collection of cave fauna from Bulgaria and other countries is particularly rich including many species, which are not presented in any other museum in the world. Hundreds of type specimens, which are used to describe new species for the science, are the focus of international interest. Contributions to collections are made through collecting activities throughout the country, expeditions and individual trips abroad, exchange with similar institutions abroad, donations, buy-outs of private collections, delivery of collections or individual specimens confiscated by the customs or other authorities. The palaeontological branch in Asenovgrad preserves some 30000 fossil bones of Miocene mammals which have inhabited our lands.