Checklist of Chilean Biological Collections
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biological specimens
natural history collections


Biological collections are a fundamental tool both for scientific research and the conservation of biological diversity, which gives them a great scientific and cultural relevance. They allow the study of biodiversity and the analysis of evolutionary processes, as well as the identification and classification of species, essential aspects for making informed decisions regarding conservation. In addition to their scientific value, biological collections have an important cultural and heritage value for the country. We focused on providing a list of the biological collections present in Chile, the public and/or private institutions to which they belong, those that have been published in the literature and those that use the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF). The information was obtained by consulting curators, literature, and web pages. A total of 166 collections were registered of which 18 universities, 10 Natural History Museums, and 7 Research Centers are repositories. The University of Concepción harbors the largest number of biological collections (25), followed by the University of Chile (23), and the National Museum of Natural History (18). At regional level, the Metropolitan region presents 48 collections, Biobío region 34, and Valparaíso region 29. A fundamental issue in the biological collections of Chile is the lack of financing to maintain their infrastructure and qualified staff and the absence of public access databases was discussed. Additionally, most of the collections surveyed did not have accessible digital information.
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Copyright (c) 2023 Juan C. Ortiz, Jaime Pizarro-Araya, Luis E. Parra, Alicia Marticorena, Viviane Jerez


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