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Tisdag-fredag 12-17
Lördag-söndag 10-18

  • Huvudmeny

Environmental Specimen Bank

The Environmental Specimen Bank (ESB) is an essential part of the monitoring of contaminants in the Swedish fauna.

It is also of importance for studies of biological diversity and the effects of noxious substances on threatened animal species.

The ESB has one of the oldest and greatest collections of environmental specimens in the world. The oldest samples are collected in the mid-1960s, and for some species continuous series of samples from the late 1960s up to now are stored.

Loan from ESB

Specimens from the ESB are available for research work into environmental contamination and bio-diversity. Samples will be supplied if the aim of the research falls within the scope of the ESB. Each order will be assessed in relation to the supply and demand of samples.

Clients will be charged for the preparation of samples.

Application of loan from ESB

You can send a written application by letter or E-mail to:

Swedish museum of Natural History
Sara Danielsson
P.O. Box 50007
SE-104 05 Stockholm

E-mail: sara.danielsson@nrm.se

The application must contain following information

  • Brief description of the project
  • Description of the projects connection to environmental research
  • Reasons for using older material from the ESB
  • Type of substances that will be analyzed, analytical method and proposed laboratory
  • Required material: species, location, year, organ/tissue, amount etc.

When the application is granted head of the project is obliged to agree to and follow the Swedish Museum of Natural History´s Loan policy for scientific purposes.PDF

​The orgins of the samples

Head of the project is obliged to mention the origin of the samples (Environmental Specimen Bank, Swedish Museum of Natural History) in publications and send a sample of the publication/report, without no expense, to Swedish Museum of Natural History, Sara Danielsson (see the address above).

Swedish contaminant monitoring

In Swedish contaminant monitoring, the ESB prepares and stores all samples that are collected annually from sites in the terrestrial, freshwater, coastal and marine monitoring programs.

The ESB also stores older samples of animal tissues and organs from different research projects that have studied the environmental effects of noxious substances. This homogeneous and continuous series of samples is also used for retrospective chemical analysis to detect the levels of new or recently discovered contaminants.

Rare and threatened species

Swedish legislation on hunting and shooting rights contains certain regulations specially intended to further nature concervancy, education and research. The Game Act states that certain rare and partly threatened birds and mammals became state property if killed, trapped, or found dead, irrespective of any hunting rights involved.

Samples of tissues and organs from the most interesting species are continuously prepared for the ESB when animals are sent to the Swedish Museum of Natural History.


Today, the ESB has at its disposal tissue samples from more than 260,000 organisms, mostly from animals but also from plants (moss). The majority of the samples are stored at -25 °C and -80 °C. Some types of samples are stored dry at room temperature.

International Environmental Specimen Bank Group (IESB)

The International Environmental Specimen Bank Group (IESB) promotes the world-wide development of techniques and strategies of environmental specimen banking. IESB is devoted to both, established Environmental Specimen Banks (ESBs) and new ESBs in the planning stages.
IESB International Environmental Specimen Bank Groupexternal link, opens in new window