Republican Nature Museum

Ornithological collection

As mentioned in the Foreword, a catalogue (one of a few catalogues in Uzbekistan) of the ornithological collection of Museum was published in 1982 in Uzbekistan (Urmanova, 1982). This edition contains a brief description and the history of establishment of the ornithological collection of the Republican Nature Museum, the list of collectors with years of their participation in the replenishment of the collection and the proper catalogue of 1429 specimens indicating the location of the collection, sex, time of collection and the family name of the collector.

In the last five years, the zoological collection of the Republican Nature Museum has been inaccessible due to the reconstruction of this museum and the construction of a new building for it. Therefore, to include this collection into the present catalogue we used information contained in the edition published in 1982. Data on each specimen were entered into the electronic database and the systematic list and the reference catalogue were compiled according to a standard scheme.

The history of the Republican Nature Museum dates back to 1876. To understand how the collection of this museum was formed, let me cite several quotations from the Catalogue of the zoological branch of Tashkent Museum compiled by N.A. Maev in 1887:

"The collection of the Zoological Museum has been made exclusively on the basis of donations. The following people made a big and invaluable contribution to it: the late Turkestan General-Governor General-Adjutant fon Kaufman (the horns of an argali and birds from the Alai valley collected by V.F. Oshanin), the General of infantry G.A. Kolpakovsky (the birds of Semirechie collected by captain, currently colonel, Larionov); Leutenant General M.G. Chernyaev (several stuffed animals); Major General N.I. Grotekov (the stuufed yak, argali, monitor lizard, griffin and some others); E.T. Smirnov (the stuffed wild boar and several birds); Colonel Maev (skins of birds collected from the vicinity of Tashkent and nearby mountains); the actual councilor of State D.P. Patsevich (flamingo); A.E. Regel, A.A. Simonov, D.V. Verigin (reptiles) and some other persons".

Further follows part of the publication by T.G. Urmanova (1982):

"Before 1925, the ornithological part of the collection consisted only of individual specimens of birds. The bases of the collection are the collections made during the expeditions organized in 1925. In June-July, the museum organized a big expedition to the vicinity of Lake Sary-Chelek (the Chatkal Ridge) under the supervision of D.N. Kashkarov. The members of the expedition were S.M. Alekseev, N.A. Bobrinsky, B.A. Kuznetsov, I.I. Kolesnikov, and Yu.D. Kashkarov. In May-June, the expedition moved to southern Turkmenistan (the Ridge Kopetdag, the valley of the River Sumbar). In August-September an expedition was organized to the interfluve of the rivers Chu ansd Ili, under the supervision of V.N. Shnitnikov. Part of the collection was carried out in the vicinity of the Town of Frunze (Pishpek).

In subsequent years, the collection was replenished with specimens from the ridges of Talas Alatau, Ferghana, Alai, and Turkestan; the spurs of Gissar and Kardjantau; the Ferghana Valley, Khoresm province, an area of the salt marsh Aidar and other areas".

The fund of the ornithological collection of the Republican Nature Museum is comprised of 1429 bird specimens of 221 species and 17 orders, which makes up 49.44% of the species composition in the avifauna of Uzbekistan. Alliformes (6 out of 7 species), Gruiformes (8 out of 14 spp.), Columbiformes (10 out of 12 spp.), (2 out of 3 spp.), Strigiformes (5 out of 8 spp.) are represented fully enough in the collection. Besides, the collection includes all Caprimulgiformes, Coraciiformes and Upupiformes, as well as more than the half of Passeriformes (52.56%).

Most numerous and diverse are the ornithological collections from the territory of western Tien Shan - 32.11% of all collections (128 species). These are followed by collections from the Pamirs-Alai system - 18.09% (76 species), the Ferghana Valley, the mid-course of the rivers Syrdarya and Amudarya (10.93, 8.97 and 8.20% of the collection, respectively). The least specimens were collected from the Desert Karakum, as well as from the mid-course of the River Kashkadarya, the Karshi steppe, the sands Sundukli (0.21% from each of these areas). A low percentage of specimens were collected from the coastal plains of the mid- and lower courses of the River Zarafshan, as well as from the banks and islands in the former borders of the deltas of the rivers Amudarya and Syrdarya - 0.49% from each of these territories. The numbers of specimens with unidentified geographic confinement is very low - 0.21% of their total number. The collection was mainly expanded from 1922 to 1949. In the span of 27 years, the collection was expanded with 1073 specimens of birds, i.e. 75.1% of the entire collection.


© Compiled by Roman Kashkarov
Translated by Javkhar Khodjaev
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Last modified: 20.12.2008