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IADIZA conducts scientific research aimed at understanding and explaining the structure and functioning of drylands


The Institute’s project on Scientific Biological Collections was started in 1970 by Dr. Virgilio Roig, with specimens of vascular plants and vertebrates (birds, mammals, amphibians and reptiles). In 1974, collections from the Victoria Island Biological Station (FBM) were incorporated and placed in charge of Julio Contreras. The goal of this project is preserving and systematizing these collections in order to facilitate research on taxonomy, systematics and biogeography and contribute to the Provincial and National Biodiversity Inventory.

The dimensions of the Institute’s biological collection make it one of the major collections in the county. Currently it houses approximately 7000 mammal specimens, nearly 7000 bird skins, 200 specimens of fish, 300 lots of reptiles and amphibians, 450 lots of arachnids and over 25500 specimens of insects. The number of specimens of the different biological groups has grown larger thanks to contributions of the Institute’s researchers, donations, exchanges and agreements with other national and international institutions.


IADIZA organizes, improves and curates important biological collections representative of drylands:

  • Vertebrate Collection (10000 specimens), with the following Sections: Birds, Mammals and Reptiles-Amphibians. Further information HERE

  • Entomological Collection (190000 specimens). Further information HERE

  • Herbarium (MERL) (60000 specimens). Further information HERE
  • Cactarium (native and exotic species).

  • Gene Bank (samples of native forage plants and Prosopis trees from the Monte region).

  • Collection of Opuntia progenies.

  • Garden of Native Plants.

  • Nursery for Native Plants.

  • Geographic Information System - Desertification (SIG-DESER).

  • Environmental Meteorological Network.

In addition, IADIZA houses the National Observatory for Desertification Assessment and Monitoring and is part of its Executive Commission.

National Observatory for Desertification Assessment and Monitoring