The zoological collections of the Kuopio Natural History Museum were established in 1887 when Benjamin Ståhlberg donated three stuffed owls to the new institution. In 1901 A.J. Mela supported the new collection by giving his specimens of plants, minerals, insects, and bird's eggs to the Museum.
When the museum building was finished in 1907, the Kuopio Naturalists' Society began gathering material for the collections and organising nature exhibitions. The Society continued collecting animal specimens until the 1960s. By that time there were about 1,500 vertebrates, 22,000 insects, and eggs of some 300 different bird species in the collection.
Later responsibility for the collection was transferred to the city of Kuopio. The main emphasis was placed on scientific specimens. Most of the present specimens were collected by the Museum staff, but a remarkable number was given by private collectors.
At the end of the year 2008 there were 644,080 specimens in the animal collections:
||9 378 |
|birds' eggs||4 847|
|reptiles and amphibians||85|
|bird observations||12 412|
|other insects||115 742|
The Museum's collections include holotypes of several butterfly species or subspecies:
- Eudonia aequalis Kyrki & Svensson, paratype
- Apatura ilia ssp. minerva, 3 males, paratype
- Apatura clytie ssp. juno, 4 males, paratype
- Apatura clytie ssp. juno, ab. claire, 1 individual, paratype
- Insects and other invertebrates
- Curator of Zoology Jukka Kettunen,
- Birds and mammals
- Curator of Zoology Jukka Kauppinen, PhD