The First Zoological Department, owing to its scientific collections, is the most important institution in the field of vertebrate systematics in Austria. Its more than 1.200,000 specimens make this department one of the most comprehensive and one of the most relevant museum collections worldwide.
Equally important are the corresponding technical libraries and faunistic data bases.
Research is among the principal scopes and objectives at scientific collections. Scientific activities focusing on systematics cover the entire spectrum of vertebrates including faunal, zoogeographic, ecological and ethological field and laboratory studies.
Scientific curators are in charge of the different sections of the vertebrate collections. Due to this wide spectrum of competence, the staff of the vertebrate department is engaged in numerous national and international projects on nature and species protection.