Zoology collections




Conservation work on the Canestrini Collection
Conservation work on Giovanni Canestrini’s (1835-1900) arachnid collection is currently ongoing.


Exhibition: Estinzioni. Storie di animali minacciati dall’uomo (“Extinctions. Stories of animals threatened by humans”)
The exhibition Estinzioni. Storie di animali minacciati dall’uomo at the Biodiversity Garden at the University of Padova’s Botanical Garden (22 March-25 June 2017) provided the ideal opportunity to carry out conservation work on the polar bear (Ursus maritimus) and dwarf armadillo (Zaedyus pichiy) specimens in the museum’s historic collections.



21 April – 21 May 2017
Sperimentando science festival
Five taxidermy animal specimens were loaned out for the 16th edition of the Sperimentando science festival


11 June 2016 – 04 June 2017
Exhibition: Pesci? No grazie, siamo mammiferi (“Fish? No thanks, we’re mammals”)
For the temporary exhibition on cetaceans titled: Pesci? No grazie, siamo mammiferi (“Fish? No thanks, we’re mammals”) at the Natural History Museum in Ferrara, the museum loaned out a Risso’s dolphin skeleton (Grampus griseus) and a model of the same specimen.


Loan to the Natural Science Museum in Bergamo
Study and taxonomic revision work carried out on the “Aranea” collection (collected by G. Canestrini) by conservator Paolo Pantini.




Estinzione. Una mostra, una banca dati genetica e ricerche sulle collezioni di vertebrati estinti e in via di estinzione nei musei italiani di storia naturale. (“Extinction. An exhibition, a genetic databank and research on collections of extinct vertebrates and vertebrates at risk of extinction in natural history museums in Italy.”)
30/03/2015 – 30/03/2017
A project coordinated and supported by the University of Padova (led by Prof. Dietelmo Pievani of the Dept. of Biology and Paola Nicolosi of the Museum of Zoology) and funded by the Italian Ministry of Education, Universities and Research (MIUR) using contributions for the promotion of scientific awareness (Law 6/2000).
The project looked at vertebrates listed as threatened or already extinct in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, currently the most complete and up-to-date inventory available of animal and plant species at risk of extinction.
Much of the work was concerned with generating a thematic catalogue of the specimens of extinct and threatened vertebrates in Italy’s museum collections. It is hoped that this will be a valuable tool both in developing a fuller understanding of the hugely valuable resource that these collections represent – one that is currently only partially known to us – and thus enabling us to make better use of it, and in promoting the conservation of biodiversity in general. Alongside this census of museum collections, the project involved the genetic sampling of museum specimens of the Aeolian wall lizard (Podarcis raffoneae), which is endemic to the Sicilian islands from which it takes its name. In addition to being an endemic Italian species, it is included in the IUCN Red List in the category of “critically endangered” species. It is the most endangered reptile in Italy, and is probably the most at risk of any reptile species in Europe.
The project also included the production of an exhibition on the theme of extinction that ran at the MUSE science museum in Trento from 16 July to 26 June 2017, drawing attention from across Europe, as well as a number of exhibitions and science education events at the University of Padova’s Botanical Garden (22 March to 25 June 2017). A thematic exhibition to be held at the Regional Museum of Natural Sciences in Turin (MRSN) is still in the preparation phase.

Project leader: Prof. Dietelmo Pievani, Department of Biology, University of Padova
Grant recipients: Silvia Valenti (University of Padova)

Project partners: University of Milano-Bicocca, FEM2 Ambiente, Piedmont Regional Museum of Natural Sciences, MUSE science museum in Trento