Landcare Research - Manaaki Whenua

Landcare-Research -Manaaki Whenua

What is NZAC used for?

Specimens in collections like NZAC are the basis of all knowledge and information about the natural world.

  • They are essential for precise identification, which is in turn the key to effective study.
  • Identified specimens are kept and documented in such a way that, together, they are a library of biological diversity.
  • This accumulated diversity is irreplaceable, and is a national and international heritage which we hold in trust for all nations.

NZAC's role in global science is very special, because of New Zealand's unique position in the biogeography of the world.

  • Probably about 90% of our arthropod species occur nowhere else, but may be closely or more distantly related to groups which are found in other regions.
  • Our indigenous arthropods are a vital piece in the jigsaw of knowledge about the Earth's fauna and flora, and how they evolved.

The task of describing our arthropods is large, and specialists with NZAC (systematists) are helped in this work by specialists from many countries who either visit NZAC or borrow specimens for study. This work adds steadily to knowledge of New Zealand's fauna, and hence to our understanding of planet Earth.