Zoological Museum

Scientific and Academic Museum 

32 Zaki Validi Street, Ufa 450074, Republic of Bashkortostan
Tel./fax: (347) 229-96-56
 
 
Headed by Viktor Alekseyevich Valuyev
 
A zoological museum is an important academic and scientific unit of a classical university. In accordance with state educational standards BashSU Zoological Museum is designed for academic activities (practical classes, field studies, working on course papers, diplomas and research papers by students and postgraduates) in the following academic specialties: “Biology”, “Ecology”, “Geography”. The zoological museum hosts classes in studying the fauna of the planet, Russian and Bashkir fauna, zoogeography, ecological disciplines, animal anatomy and etc.. In the laboratory of experimental ethology and animal rehabilitation students do their field studies, master dissection skills and rendering immediate veterinary help to animals, study ethology and feathering. Apart from its academic and scientific work the zoological museum performs important educational functions by promoting careful attitude to native environment and forming responsibility for preserving Earth’s biological diversity in the rising generation.
 
Today the museum serves as a scientific, academic and methodological base not only for students and staff of higher educational establishments of the Republic, but also for school children and various population segments. Up to 5,500 people visit the museum each year. The exhibition area of the museum amounts to 220 m2. At present there are more than 10,000 specimens of animal world from almost every continent and ocean in the exhibition department and funds of the museum. Part of the museum exhibits has been displayed at five Republican and one international exhibition. The exhibits and funds of the museum are constantly replenished thanks to annual expeditions on the territory of the Republic the number of which has exceeded 200 over the past 10 years. During the expeditions researchers ring birds with a view to tracing their migration routes. The results of ringing are sent then to Bird Ringing Centre in Moscow.
 
In 1972 BashSU was awarded a second-class diploma by the Organization Committee on All-Russian Museum Examination in token of recognition of its multitudinous services in scientific, enlightening and nature preserving activities.
 
Currently the museum is one of the three Russian organizations training feathering specialists. The BashSU aviary is the only place in the Republic where rare birds gene pool is preserved. About a dozen of birds have been rehabilitated and set free. Among them are such rare birds as a white crane, for instance.
 
The museum staff are actively engaged in scientific research, they take part in scientific conferences on different levels and actively publish their works (only over the past 10 years they have published more than 240 scientific works). 2 candidate dissertations have been defended, one candidate and one doctoral dissertation are being prepared for defense. The museum staff maintain scientific relations with their colleagues from CIS (Belarus, Lithuania, Estonia) and foreign states (Austria, Great Britain, Germany, Canada, Poland).
 
The museum staff have shot 10 films on the fauna of the Republic, three of which won prizes at the “Save and Preserve” International Film Festival in 2006, three films won first places in Republican contests in 2002, 2004 and 2007, one film won first place at the “Science to Society” All-Russian Competition in 2009. CD bird voice records have been put out. A bird identification videoguide is being developed. The museum staff works with school children, teachers and students on studying the ornithological fauna of the Republic and neighbouring regions.
 
The BashSU Academic and Scientific Museum staff were initiators of founding:
- Bashkir Republican Ornithological Association (official web-site – www.broo.bashkiria.ru);
- Bashkir Department of Russian Bird Protection Union;
- Bashkir Department of Moscow Nature Investigators Association.
 
Museum history
The Bashkir State University Scientific and Academic Museum is almost of the same age as the university itself – it was created as a zoological museum a year after BashSU had been established.
 
Gennady Gilyarovich Shtekher who worked from 1919 through 1961 was the originator of the foundation of the museum collections. He purchased a great number of animal specimens part of which he bought with his own money. After him the zoological museum was headed by Vasily Mikhailovich Gurov who ran the museum until the end of his life. Under his guidance display cases were purchased, dioramas were created, the number of museum staff was increased (such jobs as a laboratory assistant and an academic master appeared), expeditions for replenishing display funds and manipulative material (including those for the Department of Zoology) were carried out, scientific research was done.
 
Vladimir Georgiyevich Yershov who worked from 1958 through 1967 was the first taxidermist of the museum. Valery Aleksandrovich Shumilov, Galim Khalimovich Valiullin, A.V. Kartashov also left good memories of themselves in the museum.
 
In 1991 Viktor Alekseyevich Valuyev, who had been working as an academic taxidermist master for ten years, was appointed Director of the Museum. A year after he resigned and returned to the museum in 2000. In 2002 the museum was given a vivarium of an area of 100 m2, which created favourable conditions for student practical training (at the Departments of Zoology, Ecology, Human Physiology and Zoophysiology, etc.) and for creating a sound scientific basis for studying the fauna of the Republic.
In the same year a structural unit of the scientific and academic museum called Laboratory of Experimental Ethology and Animal Rehabilitation was unofficially established.
 
The laboratory keeps birds registered in the Russian Red Book and the International Red Book (3 imperial eagles, a white-tailed eagle, a long-legged buzzard and some others), part of which have been successfully nursed and set free. The laboratory is also engaged in researching animal behavior, influence of indigenous plant extracts on the bird organism; feather integument is studied (including dynamics of mew in both healthy and maimed birds); the laboratory develops a new field of science and museology called feathering (collecting and computer processing of bird feathers with a view to compiling a bird feather identification guide; the museum collection of bird feathers is already the largest one in Russia and includes about 200,000 feathers of 127 bird species); the laboratory is engaged in compiling a bird feather identification guide; animal dissection is carried out which enables researchers to study food composition, morphometric readings of internal organs are taken and recorded in a specifically designed Register for Bird Morphological Parameters. The laboratory is situated on the vivarium territory.
 
Museum staff have saved a lot of birds from death. Special mention should be made of saving a white crane for there are only about a hundred specimens of the species left in the world. Museum staff were awarded a letter of commendation by the Working Group on Eurasian Cranes with the following wording: “For help in saving the rare white crane species”.
 
 
Fields of museum activities
 
Scientific activities:
1.Publication of scientific literature.
2.Defining the species composition of Bashkortostan fauna.
3.Developing recommendations on regulating the size of Bashkortostan fauna.
4.Population monitoring.
5.Studying spatial structure of species.
6.Influence of anthropogenic factors on animal ecology.
7.Creating video- and audio-aids on the fauna of the Republic.
8.Developing a device for scanning sound signals and routing bird flights.
9.Developing an ultra-sound feather-scanning device and software for identification of bird species.
10.Developing an automatic bird abundance identifier and software for its functioning.
11.Scientific project on studying migration routes and behavior of large birds of prey.
12.Developing an electronic bird feather identification guide.
 
 
 
 
 
 
Educational activities:
1.Compiling scientific and methodological documents for ornithological research and data interpretation for specific regions of the Republic (involving GIS-technology as well).
2.Organizing seminar schools and distance ornithological education.
3.Publication of teaching-aid literature on the fauna of the Republic including video-aids.
4.Developing bird identification in the field (key features are studied.
5.Compiling a bird feather identification guide.
6.Organizing extension courses in orhithology for school teachers, young naturalist stations and other supplementary educational                                                                                           establishments of Bashkortostan.
 7.Working on filming a TV series called “Nature and People of Bashkortostan”.
 8.Shooting a film called “Rare Birds of Bashkortostan”.
 
Main sections of museum exhibits:
  • protozoa;
  • spongia;
  • coelenterata;
  • plathelminthes;
  • nemathelminthes;
  • nemertini;
  • annelida;
  • bryozoa;
  • mollusca;
  • arthropoda;
  • echinodermata;
  • vertebrata.
Besides, museum exhibits include human (embryo) and animal deformities in wet mounts; paleontological displays, medallions, horns, bird eggs and nests and some other displays.
 
Brief description of museum funds:
 
NUMBER OF MUSEUM EXHIBITS
AS OF AUGUST 1, 2010
 
Displays (13876).
 
Phylum of Protozoa                  
5
Phylum of Spongia                   
9
Phylum of Coelenterata              
82
            Class of Hydrozoa       
3
            Class of Scyphozoa      
5
            Class of Anthozoa       
74
Phylum of Plathelminthes            
11
Phylum of Nemathelminthes           
6
Phylum of Nemertini                 
1
Phylum of Annelida                  
9
Phylum of Bryozoa                   
3
Phylum of Mollusca                  
1210
            Class of Gastropoda     
897
            Class of Bivalvia       
308
            Class of Cephalopoda    
5
Phylum of Arthropoda                
2778
            Class of Crustacea      
35
            Class of Arachnida      
7
            Class of Myriapoda      
3
            Class of Insecta        
2733
Phylum of Echinodermata             
114
            Class of Asteroidea     
53
            Class of Ophiuroidea    
1
            Class of Crinoidea      
1
            Class of Echinoidea     
57
            Class of Holothurioidea 
2
Phylum of Vertebrata                
800
Class of Ascidiae                   
3
Class of Branchiostoma              
2
Class of Cyclostomata               
3
Class of Chondrichthyes             
6
Class of Osteichthyes               
102
Class of Amphibia                   
20
Class of Reptilia                   
44
Class of Aves                       
491
            Order of Sphenisciformes
3
Order of Podicipediformes     
19
Order of Procellariiformes          
1
Order of Copepoda                   
3
           Order of Ciconiidae      
10
Order of Phoenicopteridae      
1
Order of Anseriformes               
69
Order of Falconiformes              
31
Order of Galliformes  
32
Order of Gruiformes 
11
Order of Charadriiformes           
82
Order of Columbiformes         
10
Order of Cuculiformes               
3
Order of Strigiformes     
15
Order of Caprimulgiformes          
2
Order of Apodiformes                
3
Order of Coraciiformes              
8
Order of Piciformes    
19
Order of Psittacidae                
4
Order of Passeriformes              
165
 
 
Class of Mammalia                   
129
            Order of Insectivora    
7
            Order of Chiroptera     
6
Order of Rodentia                   
26
Order of Lagomorpha                 
7
Order of Carnivora                  
51
Order of Artiodactyla               
18
Order of Pinnipedia                 
2
Order of Primates                   
10
Human (embryo) and animal deformity 
6
Paleontological displays      
38
Medallions                          
2
Horns of various animals            
12
Bird eggs                           
105
Bird nests                          
16
Stone bumblebee nests               
2
Hornet nests                        
2
Wasp nests                          
1
 
 
Fund displays.
 
 
 
Bird carcasses                      
116
Bird nests                          
23
Bird eggs                           
8
Flower animals                      
     many       
Insects                             
about 10,000        
          Feather collection        
about 200,000