The Museum of Zoology has a large collection of Malaysian fauna consisting of insects (20,000 specimens and 1,000s of species), fishes (2,000 specimens) frogs (672 specimens and 176 species), reptiles (445 specimens and 186 species) , birds (603 specimens and 261 species) and mammals ( 896 specimens and 144 species). These specimens were collected over the last 60 years. All these specimens have been catalogued and arranged over the last 5 years for easy reference by scientists and students.
The Museum of Zoology when fully operational can serve the following functions:
a. Serve as a national reference biodiversity centre for Malaysian fauna,
b. Stimulate foreign and local scientists to collaborate on joint research,
c. Play an educational role in introducing students to the value of nature and biodiversity conservation.
The Museum of Zoology building was completed in 1999 to keep the large collection of local animals from the original Department of Zoology (now part of the Institute of Biological Sciences). The large collection of animals represents collections made over the past 60 years including those donated by Raffles Museum (S’pore) and National Museum (KL). A grant of RM150,000 was allocated by T & C (Penyelidikan & Inovasi) University of Malaya in July 2008 to make the museum operational by enumerating, cataloguing and upgrading the preservation of animals, and exhibiting interesting aspects of Malaysian Faunal Diversity. An additional grant of RM20,000 was donated by FRIM (July 2008) as part of the Ministry of Natural Resources program to support subsidiary museums with good collections of Malaysian fauna.
The main function of the museum is to disseminate information on indigenous Malaysian fauna, its richness, diversity and conservation status. The complexitiy of the educational role of the museum encompasses the use of the museum in the education of students, their interpretation of displays. This will result in an awakening of knowledge that is useful in the development of social responsibilities in environmental, nature, biodiversity and conservation issues.
This collection is available for biology students to study and research especially as collection of wildlife is strictly prohibited under the present Wildlife Act. The museum serves as an integral part of the teaching program in the Institute of Biological Sciences, and may be considered an important national repository of Malaysian fauna. The Museum of Zoology represents the only zoological museum in Peninsular Malaysia with an extensive collection of local fauna that has been reasonably well documented.