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Vertebrates (1). Photo: (c) S. Beshkov
Vertebrates (2). Photo: (c) S. Beshkov
At the department studies are conducted on vertebrates (fishes, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals) of Bulgaria and the neighbouring countries. Photos (c) S. Beshkov

Vertebrates Department

Main activities

Studies are conducted in terms of species diversity, distribution, morphology, biology, ecology, phylogeny and conservation value of vertebrates (fishes, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals) of Bulgaria and the neighbouring countries. The museum preserves one of the most significant ornithological collections on the Balkan Peninsula.

Current projects

Morphometric characteristics and mapping of freshwater fish in Bulgaria
Updated list of freshwater fish in Bulgaria
Comparative characteristics of the ichthyological faunistic complexes of the rivers of the Aegean and the Black Sea basins
Phylogenetic studies of amphibians and reptiles in Bulgaria
Studies on morphology, infraspecific differentiation, sex dimorphism and taxonomy of the lizards of the family Lacertidae in Bulgaria
Studies on the status of amphibian populations in Bulgaria


The ichthyological collection of the museum numbers over 5000 specimens of more than 300 species of fish.

The herpetological collections contain 5000 specimens from Bulgarian herpetofauna and about 300 species from foreign countries. The main part of the collections contains about 80 amphibian and 270 reptilian species.

The bird collections comprise fossil bones and bone fragments — over 17000 specimens; recent birds — stuffed skins — ca. 12000 specimens, mounted stuffed skins — more than 5000 specimens, complete and incomplete disarticulated skeletons — ca. 1900 specimens, eggs — ca. 1000 specimens, nests — ca. 80 specimens, etc.

The recent mammals collections (ca. 360 species) — over 1000 mounted dry preparations and skins; preparations in ethanol ca. 250; ca. 2500 skeletons.

Scientific staff

Zlatozar Boev — Professor DSc, head of department
Petar Shurulinkov — Assoc. Prof. Dr
Vladislav Vergilov — Assist. Dr
Georgi Popgeorgiev — Assist. Dr
Tihomir Stefanov — MSc, ichtyologist
Ilya Acosta — MSc, zoologist
Vera Hristova — technical assistant