NATURAL HISTORY COLLECTION

The Natural History Collection is the Bermuda Government’s archival record of the history and current state of the island’s biodiversity. It holds the most comprehensive collection of birds, reptiles, fish, insects, plants, corals, worms, shells and fossils found in Bermuda.  The collection aims to include a representative of every species ever found in Bermuda and grows every year as the result of ongoing research on Bermuda’s biodiversity.

The Natural History Collection is dedicated to:

  1. Collecting, recording and identifying all of Bermuda’s plants and animals.
  2. Providing a record of all endemic and native species that occur in Bermuda, and includes organisms that have arrived accidentally, geological samples and fossils.  The information is stored in the Natural History Species database.
  3. Providing support and collaboration with other local and international institutions as well as visiting researchers.

Departmental, local and visiting researchers continually investigate Bermuda’s terrestrial and marine habitats to catalogue the occurrences of species. This collection has become the tool to measure changes in Bermuda’s natural world.

The collections are divided into dry and wet specimens. For example, all of Bermuda’s terrestrial plants and marine algae are pressed and dried as herbarium specimens that will last for centuries in the climate controlled collections room. Geological specimens, fossils, corals and shells are preserved in dry conditions. Many soft bodied marine animals, such as worms, anemones and fishes, are preserved in alcohol.

If an unusual organism is found museum staff use the collection to determine if it has been previously recorded in Bermuda or if it is new and should be added into the collection. If it is new then scientists investigate how it arrived - either naturally or transported by human means. 

Research Question?

If you have a research question please contact Dr. Struan Smith, Curator of the Natural History Museum, at 299-2322 or via email: srsmith@gov.bm.

Found something unusual?

If you think you have found an unusual plant or animal please report your observation on our online Observation Form.

Or contact Lisa Greene, Museum Collections Officer, at 293-2727 ext 2123 or via email: llgreene@gov.bm.

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