The Zoology Department researches and documents the natural treasures of the Northern Cape province. We strive to share our knowledge with all interested parties through regular talks to public forums and both scientific and popular articles.

The Northern Cape is characterised by a substantial and interesting faunal diversity, which is enriched by a score of endemic species, as well as certain species uniquely adapted to cope with the beautiful, but often harsh, semi-arid environment. The mammal, bird and lower vertebrate collections are currently the only zoological collections under museum management in the Northern Cape.

Our collection includes


The collection, although containing only 8000 specimens, boasts a high representation of the species found within the Northern Cape. We acquired about 5000 small mammal specimens between 1985 and 1990, many of which have extended known distribution patterns. This collection is fully documented and computerised.


We currently curate a fully documented and completely computerised collection of nearly 3000 specimens.


Our department’s research programs include several studies on vertebrates of the Northern Cape, as well as conducting Environmental Impact Assessments. Our zoologist Beryl Wilson is a specialist consultant to the Green Scorpions (DENC) and serves on the panel of natural history experts for the northern Cape, North West and the Free State cluster of the National Forum for the Law Enforcement of Heritage (NALEH). She is also Patron of the Cat Conservation Trust and serves on the Board of Directors for Vulpro.


Our large and substantial invertebrate collection is currently on a permanent loan to the National Museum in Bloemfontein, South Africa for curation and safekeeping. All our collections are available on loan or for visitations by bone fide researchers or organisations.

For more information on access to our collections, please click here.

Lower Vertebrates

Also known as the Power Collection after the late J.H. Power, famous herpetologist and second director of the Museum, this collection of about 4 000 specimens includes a number of the Power type specimens, as well as a fair number of specimens exchanged with the American Museum of Natural History from central Africa. The collection is actively growing with 2 000 acquisitions in the past 10 years. The collection has also recently been rebottled and computerised.

Beryl Wilson

Head of Zoology Department

Tel: (+27)53 8392727


Heidi Fölscher


Tel: (+27)53 8392734

Jack Oliphant


Tel: (+27)53 8392718