The Yamashina Institute for Ornithology (YIO) possesses approximately 69,000 bird specimens —the greatest number in Japan— and includes skins, spread wings, skeletal specimens, spirit specimens, eggs, and nests. Since 2001, the YIO has been supported by the Japanese Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science, and Technology; the funds provided by the Ministry have been used to order, label, and photograph the specimens, as well as to record specimen descriptions. The specimen database was made available to the public online on December 28, 2009; at that time, the database contained mainly information on bird skins.
Label information is extremely important for scientific studies. Therefore, this database focuses on displaying the labels. This database shows almost all of the specimen labels, although a few have not been provided in the interest of protecting personal privacy. In the future, we wish to increase the number of photographs of specimens.
By publishing the specimen information on the internet, the YIO aims to contribute to developments in ornithology, and to bring the work of the YIO to the attention of the general public.
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