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NATURAL HISTORY
 

Belau National Museum is an important archive of valuable scientific specimens and data relating to the culture and natural history of Belau. The museum's archives of specimens and literature are an important national resource for the support of educational, cultural and conservation programs.

In this context, the mission of the Natural History Section is to catalog and preserve the terrestrial biological diversity of the islands with special emphasis on plants and animals that have cultural significance.

The Natural History Section of the Belau National Museum is a newly established department and is still in the process of setting up the proper equipment and support staff. In the meantime, it presently has two staff already on board, an ethnobotanist and an entomologist.

  1. Bird-Suebek el Charm of the Belau National Museum

  2. Recent Publications & Policies

    • Olsen, AR and M Eberdong. 2009. Species Richness and Other Noteworthy Observations at an Important Bird Area in Palau. Micronesica 41: 59-59.

    • Olsen, AR 2009. New Record of the Marine Littoral Ant, Odontomachus malignus Smith, F. 1859, in Palau. Pan-Pacific Entomologist 85: 25-26.

    • Olsen, AR 2009. Palau. Pp. 715-717 in Encyclopedia of Islands (Gillespie et al. eds.). University of California Press Berkeley.

    • Pratt, HD, M Falanruw, MT Etpison, AR Olsen, et al. 2010. Noteworthy Bird Observations from the Caroline and Marshall Islands 1988-2009, Including Six New Records for Micronesia. Wild Birds (in press).

    • Ngaremlengui Public Law 7-03 Ngermeskang Bird Sanctuary (the law cites Olsen & Eberdong 2009).

    • President’s Executive Order 280 – National Bird-Monitoring Program (BNM 2010)

  3. Traditional knowledge and use of plants with a focus on two villages:  Oikull and Ibobang. (Ethnobotany Project between BNM and New York Botanical Garden.)

During 2007 and 2008 men and women from the villages of Oikull, Airai State and Ibobang, Ngatpang State were interviewed regarding the use of plants in their daily lives. The main theme was life's cycle from birth to death and how plants are used for food, shelter, medicine, clothing, art and entertainment and other cultural and spiritual purposes. Men were more knowledgeable about plants used for construction, tool making, firewood, fishing and canoe making. Women were more knowledgeable about plants used for food preparation and medicinal uses for the first birth. Both men and women were knowledgeable about plants used for food, toys and art and general purpose medicines for primary care. Conservation of plant diversity, integration of traditional knowledge and practices in the educational programs and promoting culture through local, regional and international fairs will ensure that Palauan culture will survive into the next millennia.

STUDY RESEARCH AREAS

bullet Birds
bullet Entomology
bullet Ethnobotany
bullet Herbarium

 

 
 

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