National Museum of Natural History

Original name(s)

  • Национален природонаучен музей, Българска академия на науките (bg - Bulgarian)
Institution Address

1 Tsar Osvoboditel Blvd
1000 Sofia

Main areas of taxonomic expertise

  • Mammals
  • Birds
  • Amphibians
  • Reptiles, fishes
  • Myriapoda
  • Insecta (Coleoptera, Lepidoptera, Heteroptera)
  • Arachnida
  • Vascular plants

Type of organisation

Institution Address

1 Tsar Osvoboditel Blvd
1000 Sofia

Director Representative

Prof.Beata Papp


Structure Chart

Governing & Executive bodies

  • Department of Invertebrates; 
  • Department of Vertebrates; 
  • Department of Palaeontology and Mineralogy; 
  • Department of Botany Branch Asenovgrad.




Staff fields

staff_year of reference2016
staff total41.0
scientific staff (permanent)17.0
scientific staff associated4.0
staff exhibitions (permanent)14.0

General Description

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)

Link to: Research page


Research Fields

  • Anthropology / Physical anthropology (46.20.00)

Research Initiative

Activities and outreach with Universities

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


Activities and outreach with other public



MsSylvia Tosheva
+3592 9882894

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