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Zoology Division

The section was established simultaneously with the inception of the Colombo National Museum in 1877.

The division act as the faucal point for the National Faunal Repository in Sri Lanka. (except entomological specimens), by holding the single largest faunal collection of the country. The records in these collections can be successfully used in assessing the faunal diversity in Sri Lanka. Besides this the collection has its major importance in authenticating National fauna, while allowing effective operation of the Convention of Biological Diversity in the Island.

Major branches

Bird and Mammal branch

The section presently holds and maintains a collection of mammal and bird skins, a collection of bird eggs and a collection of skulls and skeletons of mammals.

Major faunal groups Specified groups No. of specimens(deposited)
Vertebrates Mammals Birds about 2968
about 3420
The collection represents almost each and every species of birds and mammals presently recorded in the country.
Taxidermy section also held under this branch. The main function of this section is stuffing of skins of animals. The stuffed tusker (a culturally significant “Raja Atha”) displayed at the Dalada Maligawa, Kandy, is one of the out standing works carried out by the staff of this section.

Invertebrates and other vertebrates branch

Other vertebrates

The section presently holds and maintains about 23,000 vertebrate wet specimens.

  • Fishs - About 15,000
  • Amphibians - About 1060
  • Reptiles - About 7,000

These collections comprise almost each and every species presently recorded in Sri-Lanka.


This section holds an extensive collection of land mollusks found in Sri-Lanka and a representative collection of seashells.

  • Mollusks specimens- about 12,000
  • In addition a representative collection of polychetes - about 2,000 specimens.
  • Other invertebrate specimens - about 5,000 specimens

The services and duties rendered by the division

  1. Maintain and upgrade the National Faunal Repository and carries out field surveys to collect faunal specimens that to fulfill the requirements needed to maintain the standards as the National Faunal Repository.
  2. Formulate and where necessary upgrade and inventory of faunal collections.
  3. The division carries out researches and produce scientific articles related to faunal taxonomy and biodiversity in collaboration with local and foreign scientists and scientific institutions.
  4. Provide scientific data and information for local and foreign scientists, students and for general public related to the subjects.
  5. To promote awareness among people the division establishes permanent, temporary and mobile exhibitions related to biodiversity and biodiversity conservation.

Contact Details

Name : Mrs. K. P. Lankani Pavithra Somarathna
Designation : Assistant Director – Zoology
Tel. No. : 0094 112 667751
E-mail :

Image Gallery : Zoology Division