The CCBER zoological collections include both vertebrate and invertebrate specimens. The vertebrate collection contains over 32,000 herpetology, ornithology, mammalogy, and ichthyology specimens from around the world, with special emphasis on the vertebrates of the central and southern coast of California. The invertebrate collection contains over 15,000 arthropods collected primarily in California.
All collections are housed in the CCBER building except the ichthyology collection, which is stored in the Biological Sciences Instructional Facility (BSIF) building at the UCSB campus.
Global Access To CCBER Herpetology, Ornithology and Mammalogy Collections
Over the last few years, there has been momentum growing in the natural history collections community to digitize collections from museums and related institutions all over the world. In the case of natural history collections, digitizing entails transferring data recorded on catalog cards and in field notebooks into digital collections. Sometimes, specimens are scanned or photographed as well, to provide additional visual information and reduce handling of specimens.
Thanks to a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) CCBER has completed the digitization, cataloging, documentation and curation of the CCBER herpetology, ornithology and mammalogy collections.
Digitization of these collections will increase data accessibility and facilitate the tracking of specimen loans, collection inventory and organization, and updates in nomenclature and taxonomy. During our digitization project, the information for CCBER’s ~18,500 amphibians and reptiles, ~3,500 mammals, and ~9,400 birds was added to the Specify database application, our collections management software, thus facilitating access to specimen data here at CCBER.
Once in Specify, collections data can be exported to other data portals. The vertebrate specimen data have been uploaded to VertNet, a web portal that gathers vertebrate records data from institutions all over the world in order to make biodiversity data available and openly accessible. In addition, our specimen data is also available for research use through the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF).