Fast, reliable answers to questions about biodiversity

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A one-stop-shop for all existing knowledge on biodiversity? Welcome to Naturalis! Our scientists and our vast collection make us a unique source of reliable answers. Have a question about biodiversity? Our experts – or their colleagues in our extensive domestic and international network – will supply a clear answer in short order.

Many organizations have already benefited. From conservation organizations to universities, and from government agencies to commercial businesses: we've assisted groups including the World Wildlife Fund, Dutch Customs, and the Netherlands Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority (NVWA).

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A few examples:

  • Promoting healthy coral reefs
    On behalf of the World Wildlife Fund, our coral experts monitor the health of the world's reefs, including threats resulting from climate change. Our researchers know exactly how a balanced ecosystem should function. Is something out of whack? They will quickly sound the alarm.

  • Tracking prohibited animal and plant species
    We help Dutch Customs officials track the illegal import and export of endangered animal and plant species. Our analysis can provide confirmation of the species, origin and potentially illegal practices. We examine skins, coral, teeth, skulls, bone material and even certain types of wood.

  • Identifying harmful foreign organisms
    We help specialists at the NVWA track down the names of various species. That way, we can identify any potentially harmful organisms from other countries.

  • Forensic research
    When investigators are trying to crack a crime, we help by applying DNA barcoding. And when trace evidence is being investigated, we analyze plant remnants. This allows us to see exactly where the victim was moments before the crime. If a case involves remains found in a secluded location, forensic entomology can tell us how long the body was there.  

  • Cataloguing invasive species
    From climate change to the ballast water of ships: exotic species wind up in the Netherlands in all kinds of ways. Those new species may be detrimental to native flora and fauna. Our specialists track down these newcomers.