The Australian National Wildlife Collection is a significant biodiversity resource aiding the study, classification and documentation of Australia's mammals, birds and reptiles.

The Australian National Wildlife Collection holds almost 200 000 irreplaceable and fully-documented scientific specimens of birds, mammals, reptiles and amphibians.

Birds- The Australian National Wildlife Collection (ANWC) holds the world's most comprehensively curated and databased collection of Australian and Papua New Guinean birds. The 50 000 specimens represent over 1 600 species and include 95 per cent of Australia's birds. They are extensively accompanied by cryo-frozen tissue samples.

Mammals- Specimens of 30 300 land mammals from Australia and Papua New Guinea are in the ANWC.

The mammal specimens include: monotremes (platypuses and echidnas), marsupials (kangaroos, wallabies, bandicoots, possums, etc), placentals (bats, rodents, seals and dingoes).

Reptiles- There are close to 10 000 specimens of crocodiles, turtles, geckos, monitors, lizards and snakes held at the ANWC, covering 60 per cent of our reptile species.

Sound Library-The ANWC contains Australia's largest research library of wildlife sounds and has some 60 000 wildlife recordings. The sound recordings provide valuable behavioural data and can be used to identify unique populations.

Amphibians- The ANWC has over 2 900 specimens of frogs and toadlets, representing 70 per cent of Australian species.

Cryo-frozen tissue bank- The cryo-frozen tissue bank include a range of material including:

over 28 000 samples from more than 14 500 individual specimens

the world's largest cryo-frozen tissue bank of Australian and Papuan New Guinean birds.

The frozen tissues allow DNA to be analysed, providing data for evolutionary and conservation research.

Egg collections- There are over 14 500 clutches of bird eggs from more than 1 000 species at the ANWC. The ANWC is a repository for leading bird egg collections including the Ragless Collection, the Green Collection, and the Seton Collection. The egg collections are valuable records of where and when birds have bred in changing environments and how their distributions are changing.

Study skins- Study skins show what the living animal looked like and are used to document variation in natural populations.

Bones and teeth- Bones and teeth can also be used to identify species and provide an essential source of baseline material for the study and identification of fossils.

Specimens preserved in spirit- Preserving specimens in spirit allows muscles, tissues, and organs to be examined, providing information on anatomy and evolution.

Specimen database- The ANWC collection is fully databased and is part of the Online Zoological Collections of Australian Museums (OZCAM) project.

Taxonomic range

Kingdoms covered include: Animalia.

Number of specimens in the collection

The estimated number of specimens in the Australian National Wildlife Collection is 200,000.

Click the Records & Statistics tab to access those database records that are available through the atlas.

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Metadata last updated on 2016-12-13 10:36:04.0

Digitised records available through the Atlas

The Australian National Wildlife Collection has an estimated 200,000 specimens.

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