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Center for animal marking

The National Center for Animal Marking was established in 1993 within the Natural History Museum in Belgrade. Its main goal is organizing the monitoring and study of animal movements at local, regional, continental and intercontinental level, by method of permanent markers. Besides the curators leading the Center, its activities include a large number of outside associates (professional biologists, amateurs, nature lovers).

One of the most important activities of the Center is collecting and processing the information on bird migration. It includes the scientific method of bird ringing by marking birds with permanent markers – rings. The recoveries of ringed birds enable determination of main migration corridors, both in Serbia and the much broader area. The rings are made from an aluminum alloy and marked with a serial number and the name of Center. There are 11 different sizes of rings that match the various species and body sizes of birds. Ringing can be performed only by trained ringers who passed an appropriate Exam, organized by the Center once a year.

Although bird ringing is continuous throughout the year, it is most intensive during spring and autumn migrations. A detailed documentation is kept on ringing of birds at the territory of Serbia, including both the marking data and their recoveries in country and abroad. Also recorded are all birds found or caught in territory of Serbia with a ring of some foreign center. Since 1993, over 15,000 individual birds from 218 were ringed, and 1000 recoveries were processed. The Center publishes the report on ringed birds and recoveries each year.
Since 1997, the Center is a member of EURING – European Union for Bird Ringing, and consequently participates in several European projects of bird ringing.

Marking bats with wing markers has been performed at Natural History Museum since 1954 and within the activities of Center since 1994. Besides the marking, morphometric data and information on recoveries of marked bats are collected and processed, enabling better understanding of bionomy and ecology of certain species and/or populations. Bat markers are made of aluminum alloys in shape of open cylinder (C shape) with extensions on free ends. Three different sizes of markers are available. Each marker has a name of the Center (Natural History Museum), the code of the series (A, B or C) and the identification number of the marked individual. Ringing may be done only by trained persons who passed the appropriate exam that includes identification of bat species, knowledge of safe manipulating the individuals and knowledge on techniques and methods of bat marking, as well as knowledge of legal bases of protection and conservation of bats.

Marking is performed during the season when bats are active and mostly outside of roosts in order to evade disturbance, while it is rarely practiced during the mating season. Record keeping on marked individuals and recoveries is performed in a similar way as with birds. About 400 individuals are marked each year.

Center for comparative odontology of fossil vertebrates

This Center is the reference site for comparative studies of fossilized odontological remains of vertebrates. Those are teeth, mostly of large and small mammals, but also reptiles, amphibians and fishes. The odontological remains are the most reliable indicator of belonging to the certain species, so they are used to determine the geological age of layers where the fossil was found. This Center was established in 2007 at the Natural History Museum, as its collections include most specimens of fossilized remains of vertebrates that during the Tertiary and Quaternary used to live in Southeastern Europe. Besides the original fossils there are also the models (copies) of fossils from other collections. This material, as well as the electronic database kept at the Center, enable complex studies of Tertiary and Quaternary vertebrate fauna of Southeastern Europe. Besides the continuous work by the curators and taxidermists from the Museum, the center also organizes the joint activities with experts from abroad.

Center for protection of movable fund of geoheritage of Serbia

The geoheritage is the representative sample of geodiversity, chosen as a special geological, geomorphologic and pedological value, from the aspect of scientific, educational, cultural and economic importance.

Center for protection of movable fund of geoheritage of Serbia was established at the Natural History Museum on August 28th, 2007. Through the activities of this Center, the Museum contributes to protection of geoheritage and affirmation of geosciences. The conservation of geological phenomena, as unique and non-restorable natural resources, includes the multidisciplinary studies, and the collections of the Museum, which are among the richest and oldest in Serbia, are irreplaceable in this process. In cooperation with the other related institutions and ministries, the Center is organizing a number of activities, and the results should be the base for planning and implementing the protection of geoheritage of Serbia. Among the most important tasks are: recording the data on geological material from the collections of Natural History Museum and other institutions dealing with geological studies, as well as geological localities (sites where the material was recorded); categorization and estimate of the condition of collections and sites in natural environment; development of methodology in the conservation system and forming the network of protected geological resources; education of local communities on the need and importance of conservation of geological natural phenomena; cooperation with relevant international institutions and individuals in order to improve the geo-protection and exchange the experiences.

Department for geological and biological conservation and taxidermy

The Department for geological and biological conservation and taxidermy, in various forms of organization and under different names, has been persisting since the first days of Natural History Museum in 1895. Although during time the work techniques became increasingly modern, the museological, scientific and educational role of the workshops, as well as the basic tasks, remained the same in essence. The primary goal of this group of activities is mounting and conserving the objects from the nature in order to enable their permanent storage as museum objects. The taxidermists also participate in collecting the material in the field and take care of conservation and protection of the collections. Within the exhibition activities they make new or restore the already existing specimens, make copies (models) of original objects, prepare the material for exhibition and are included in all phases of its realization.