The Role of Natural History Institutions and Bioinformatics in Conservation Biology
Natural history institutions (museums, herbaria, zoos, aquaria, etc. whether privately owned or existing in conjunction with universities) and the collections they house play a large role in documenting species diver- sity. Historically, these collections were a rich source of data that ultimately fueled developments in biogeogra- phy and systematics and provided the intellectual frame- work for conservation biology (MacArthur & Wilson 1967; Mayr & Diamond 2001). Collections have also been influential in the application and development of bioinformatic resources such as integrated digital col- lection databases (Chakrabarty 2010; Pyke & Ehrlich 2010).