The Zoology Unit is responsible for the development, maintenance and management of the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery’s (TMAG’s) zoological collections. The collections represent over 150 years of museum acquisitions, and include many specimens of great scientific and historical importance. They are housed in a dedicated facility at Rosny, and comprise at least 150,000 specimens. They are not normally open to the public, but can be accessed by appointment. A growing proportion of the specimens in the collection is now digitised and can be accessed online.
Through their specialised systematic research and targeted collecting efforts, staff also regularly contribute specimens to the collections. However, developing a more comprehensive collection of Tasmania’s extremely diverse fauna is largely dependent on the generosity and foresight of others beyond TMAG.
TMAG’s irreplaceable collections of physical specimens now underpin websites and online data portals that make it increasingly possible for researchers and members of the public to explore Tasmania’s faunal diversity and its distribution across the state, and how these may be changing over time.
Using material from the collections, Zoology Unit staff contribute to the design and content of exhibits throughout the museum. Staff are also available to answer zoological enquiries from the public. Many of Tasmania’s most enquired-about animals are also featured on TMAG’s Field Guide to Tasmanian Fauna app.