Biological collections are essential to the conservation of biodiversity. Collections provide a record of what plants and animals occur in a geographic area at a particular time, aid in the identification of unknown biota, and act as a record for systematics and taxonomy.
For a more detailed description of what a biological collection is, visit the NBII Museum Collections web page.
Listed below are several of the key Hawaiian and Pacific Island collections that are available online.
Bishop Museum / PBIN Taxonomic Service - Search the museum's taxonomic authority database to retrieve species level information, including access to the 4 million specimens from the Hawaii Biological Survey collections for plants, mammals, fish, insects, and snails.
Bishop Museum's Botany Types Database - Search the museum's extensive botanical type specimen collections for algae, fungus, bryophytes, ferns, gymnosperms, dicot, and monocot plants.
Bishop Museum's Arthropod Types Database - Search the museum's arthropod collections in the Gressitt Center Arthropod Types Database database which contains contains data for almost 16,000 type specimens.
Bishop Museum's Invasive Algae Collection - features locality information for Hawaii's approximately two dozen non-native algae. Explore this collection in Google earth. Download the Invasive Marine Species of Hawaii Google Earth KMZ file.
Collections of Hawaiian bird specimens (PDF) - from Banko, W. E. July 1979, has information about the history of endemic Hawaiian birds specimens in museums.
HerpNet - Search major reptile and amphibian collections across the U.S. with one easy search tool.
Kalaupapa HNP herbarium vouchers - has high resolution scans of the Kalaupapa Historic National Park, Molokai herbarium specimens.
NTBG Herbarium Search - The National Tropical Botanical Gardens herbarium contains taxonomic, locality, and images of many of the garden's extensive Hawaiian botanical collection.
Smithsonian's Flora of the Hawaiian Islands Specimen Query - The Smithsonian U.S. National Herbarium collection contains more than 25,000 records of Hawaiian plants.
The Missouri Botanical Garden's Tropicos Database - has many Hawaiian plant specimens. Use the Tropicos geographic search to view the Hawaiian holdings.
GBIF hosts an exhaustive list of Hawaiian Species Occurrence Records from institutions worldwide, which includes many online collections not listed above. Visit their Hawaiian Species Occurrence Records web page.