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The DiSSCo consortium in


The Spanish National Task Force (NTF ES) is formed by a consortium between the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC), the University of Navarra (UNAV), and the Geological Survey of Spain (IGME), being led by the National Museum of Natural Sciences (MNCN) of Madrid and coordinated by its Director. CSIC participates through two research centers the MNCN and the Royal Botanic Garden of Madrid. UNAV participates through the Museum of Zoology and the PAMP-Herbarium. IGME participates through the Geominero Museum. Together their collections gather about 14 million specimens. The scientific data are published in scientific journals, and their databases are partly accessible through the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF). The consortium is open to new members.

participating institutions

Santiago Merino

National Museum of Natural Sciences, Director

Museo Nacional de Ciencias Naturales

The National Museum of Natural Sciences of Madrid houses Spain’s largest Natural History collections, library and archives. The collections comprise around ten million items relating to zoology, palaeontology, geology, mineralogy, and prehistory and they are also repository for natural sciences specimens. Its main scientific research areas concern biodiversity and mechanisms involved in the evolution of life; land, freshwater and marine ecosystems; history of life and earth; and the Spanish geology and volcanism. It houses conservation and preparation facilities together with a range of analytical equipment, available to researchers from around the world, who access these collections on a regular basis, in situ or through GBIF.

Real Jardín Botánico

The Royal Botanic Garden of Madrid houses the largest herbarium in Spain and is one of the most representatives in Europe. The MA-Herbarium comprises 1,3 million specimens organized according to standardized classification systems, being represented all groups of plants (Algae, Bryophytes, Lichens, Fungi, and Vascular plant) especially coming from the Iberian Peninsula, as well as type specimens of Ibero-American plants coming from historical scientific expeditions. It houses also special collections (fluid preserved specimens, gymnosperm cones, fruits and seeds, wood samples, etc.). Collections are available to researchers from around the world, who access these collections on a regular basis, in situ or through GBIF.

Museo de Zoología

The Museum of Zoology is part of the Science Museum of the UNAV. It was established more than 30 years ago and has been responsible for ensuring the conservation of research material produced by the departments of Zoology and Ecology; currently integrated in the Department of Environmental Biology (AMBIUN). It comprises around 2 million specimens, mostly coming from research projects and donations, much of them digitized in databases. AMBIUN gives free access over the internet to the information of more than 230,000 of its registrations thanks to GBIF: the Global Biodiversity Information Facility.


The PAMP-Herbarium is part of the Science Museum of the UNAV. It was developed by the Botany Department; currently integrated in the Department of Environmental Biology (AMBIUN) of the Faculty of Sciences. It houses two main collections, one of Bryophytes and another of Vascular plants. The collection of Bryophytes reaches about 25,000 specimens, and the Vascular plants is close to 100,000 sheets. Most of the material comes from the collections made by researchers from the Department, and from the result of doctoral thesis carried out in the Statutory Community. The Herbarium is an institutional member of the Ibero-Macaronesian Herbarium Association.

Geominero Museum

The Geominero Museum houses significant collections of minerals, rocks and fossils, with around 111,000 specimens, whose information is available through the IGME Website. Mainly, museum collections come from all Spanish regions and former colonial territories, although there are also specimens from other significant sites of the world. Geominero Museum is the official repository of polar geological samples (fossils, minerals, rocks and water) resulting from the Spanish Polar Research Programme, and includes the National Polar Data Center (CNDP). Both the repository and the CNDP respond to international regulations, in particular to those emanating from the Antarctic Treaty System and to the recommendations of the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR), as well as that of the Spanish Polar Committee.

Participating institutions in


Everything on one screen

Collection Dashboard

The dashboard you can see below contains data on the collections of natural science institutions across Europe. Page one shows the approximate number of collections per category for all of the 89 institutes who participated in an initial DiSSCo survey and page two the national contributions to the European collection. The selection boxes allow filtering for country and institutions. The data in this dashboard is populated with information as sent by the DiSSCo partners through an initial survey in November 2017 and should therefore be considered as preliminary Following that survey, we went through a rigorous process of identifying obvious errors and contacting individuals to correct those. Nevertheless it will probably still contain some errors and information might be outdated. Please contact Niels Raes if you detect any issues so the data can be updated.

If you would like to see a full screen version of the dashboard, please click here.