National Museum of Natural History

Consortium name  
Bulgarian Consortium
Institution (Original name) 
Национален природонаучен музей, София
MAIN ADDRESS
Street 
1 Tsar Osvoboditel Blvd
Postal code 
1000
City 
Sofia
POSTAL ADDRESS
Country 
Bulgaria
Phone 

(+359) 2 988 28 94

TYPE OF INSTITUTION
Type of institution 
Museum
LEGAL STATUS
Are you part of a larger entity / legal body? 
Yes
If yes, please specify  
NMNHS is an autonomous research unit and an independent legal entity in the frames of the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences (representing a national centre of 42 autonomous research institutes)
CETAF MEMBERSHIP
Member since 
Oct-14
Category 
Full member
CETAF Official representative
Name, position, phone, e-mail, research field 

Prof. Pavel Stoev, + 359 897802524, pavel.e.stoev@gmail.com, Myriapoda

Member of the Executive Committee? 
No
CETAF DEPUTY
Director / legal representative of the institution (title, name, phone, e-mail, research field) 

Prof. Nikolai Spassov, +3592 9808390, nspassov@nmnhs.com or nspassov@nmnh.bas.bg, teriologist

Organigram 

Department of Invertebrates Department of Vertebrates Department of Palaeontology and Mineralogy Department of Botany Branch Asenovgrad

Governing and executive bodies 

Executive bodies: - Director (acting as chief executive) - Scientific Council (acting as executive board)

PERSONNEL
Scientific staff 
Permanent (P)Non – Permanent (NP)
a) TOTAL scientific staff170
b) Scientific staff linked to Collections00
c) Post-docs / PhD students60
d) Others (Associates, etc.)40
TOTAL (a+b+c+d)170
Other staff (administration etc.) 
Permanent (P)Non – Permanent (NP)
e) Exhibitions14
f) Collection managers / technicians
g) Others
TOTAL (e+f+g)
Total permanent staff 
41
Total non-permanent staff 
0
Grand total (permanent + non-permanent Staff) 
41
Male (%) 
65
Female (%) 
35
Total (permanent and non-permanent staff + externalized personnel)  
0
R&D facilities
How many laboratories are in use in your institution? 
11
List of laboratories 

Long-term storage equipment Taxidermy unit Taxonomic laboratories (entomology, non-insect invertebrates, birds, mammals, amphibians and reptiles, fishes, botany, paleontology)

Exhibitions
Number of permanent exhibitions 
9
List of permanent exhibitions  
Name 
Mineralogy
Name 
Birds
Name 
Amphibians and reptiles
Name 
Fishes
Name 
Palaeontology
Name 
Mammals
Name 
Insects
Name 
Non-insect invertebrates
Name 
Plants
Recent Temporary Exhibitions (< 2 years) 
Name 
Wetlands of International Importance in Bulgaria
RESEARCH FIELDS
RESEARCH FIELD 
Summary of your Research programme 

The mission of NMNHS incorporates the following areas: fundamental and applied studies. NMNHS is the only national institution directly engaged with the preservation of scientific collections of live and non-live nature from Bulgaria and the world. The study of biodiversity, environmental protection and the evolution of organisms are the museum’s major priorities. Consequently, the main task of NMNHS is the all-around study of the fauna, flora, fossils, minerals and rocks of Bulgaria and other countries. It develops the following scientific areas: taxonomy, faunistics, zoogeography and ecology of arachnids, myriapods, insects and all classes of vertebrates; taxonomy of fossil mammals, birds and brachiopods; floristics; mineralogy. Some of the areas have priority as a result of which NMNHS has become the national center of biospeleology, archaeozoology and palaeontology of vertebrates and of bat studies. Insect studies are also highly developed.

Traditionally the dominant parts of museum’s expositions and collections as well as its scientific activities have to do with the animal world. Particular attention is paid to the biodiversity of Bulgaria and the neighbouring countries and to the description of new taxa from many countries all over the world. In the last decade considerable part of the efforts of museum experts have been focused on the research of inhabitants of protected territories and on the rare and endangered species.

In 2013 NMNHS scientists published 47 scientific papers and delivered another 33 for print. The scientific productivity of NMNHS scientists generally maintained its high level from previous years, however there has been considerable rise of articles published in impact factor journals such as Journal of Human Evolution, Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, Geobios, Zootaxa, Zookeys, Acta Palaeontologica Polonica, Acta Geologica Polonica, European Journal of Entomology, Animal Biodiversity and Conservation, Revue de paléobiologie (Genève) and others.

The practical aspects of the work of NMNHS focus mainly on nature preservation. Part of these activities is to the benefit of or under assignment of government bodies, international organizations or EU bodies. A work group headed by a NMNHS representative developed a draft Law on Caves for the National Assembly. The drafting of many other documents is headed by museum scientists or they participate in the process at the request of the Ministry of Environment and Waters (MEW). Such documents are the National Action plans on the protection of the two species of tortoises and three priority and endangered orchid species, as well as a Action plan for the Bulgarian bear populations. NMNHS experts have participated in the working out of the management plans for the three national parks in Bulgaria – Central Balkan, Rila and Pirin, for the natural parks Vrachanski Balkan, Sinite Kamani, Shoumensko Plato, Rilski Manastir and many other protected territories. There is a proposal on the setting of a new natural park in the Gabrovo Balkan.

Expert declarations concerning the Environmental impact assessments of the planned Strouma highway and on the mining and processing of gold-bearing ores around Kroumovgrad were submitted to the High Expert Council with MEW. The rangers of the Central Balkan national park have been acquainted with the ecology of the wolf. For the purposes of the Ministry of Regional Development and Public Works a management plan was worked out for Orlova Chouka cave in Rousse region. For the purposes of the Customs Agency a training course of educational lectures was developed and a text book for customs officers was published dwelling on the animal species included in the Washington Convention on International Trade of Endangered Species of the Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES)

Scientific publications
Number of peer-reviewed publications per year 
45
EARTH SCIENCES (Geology, Mineralogy, Palaeontology,…) 
TypologyPrimary typesIndividual specimens/objects% registered cards% recorded cards in database
1.1Palaeontology-750008555
LIFE SCIENCES (Zoology, Biology, Botany, Mycology,…) 
TypologyPrimary typesIndividual specimens/objects% registered cards % recorded cards in database
2.1Botany-60008555
2.2Zoology120011000008555
Total specimens (all collections) 
1,181,000
Outstanding collection features 

These are the most representative natural history collections for the fauna of South-East Europe. The collection of lichens is unique for the region. Collections of fossil mammals and birds are also unique for SE Europe. E-catalogue of types in Invertebrate Collection: http://www.nmnhs.com/e-natura/types-bulgaria/type_list_institution_en-NM...

Genetic Repositories
Does your institution have a DNA bank? 
No
Does your institution have a seed bank? 
No
COLLECTION’S RELATED INFORMATION
Number of outgoing loans (parcels / specimens) per year 
>100
Number of accessions (specimens) per year 
>5000
Number of scientific visitors per year 
20
MAIN AREAS OF TAXONOMIC EXPERTISE 
Mammals, birds, amphibians and reptiles, fishes
Myriapoda, Insecta (Coleoptera, Lepidoptera, Heteroptera), Arachnida
Vascular plants
COMMUNICATION MATERIAL
Main activities of communication and outreach 

Permanent exhibition Temporary exhibitions Homepage

Logo 
Contact person at your institution for communications / press / external relations (name, position, phone, e-mail) 

Ms Sylvia Tosheva, + 3592 9882894, contact@nmnhs.com

Visitors
Last year:  
200 000
Trends (past and future) 

increasing

Institution news
Training
Research updates
If your institution is involved with universities in teaching or education programmes, please name and describe them 

Lectures and Practicals, MSc students: University of Sofia, New Bulgarian University

Contact person at your institution for education / teaching / training (name, position, phone, e-mail) 

Ms Sylvia Tosheva, + 3592 9882894, contact@nmnhs.com

THREE MAIN TOPICS OF CURRENT INTEREST FOR YOUR INSTITUTION 

1. Systematic research 2. Collection maintenance 3. Training of taxonomists

THREE MAIN TOPICS OF FUTURE INTEREST FOR YOUR INSTITUTION 

1. Participation in joint projects

Last update 
11.23.16