Belau National Museum is an important archive of valuable scientific
specimens and data relating to the culture and natural history of Belau.
The museum's archives of specimens and literature are an important
national resource for the support of educational, cultural and
In this context, the mission of the Natural History Section is to
catalog and preserve the terrestrial biological diversity of the islands
with special emphasis on plants and animals that have cultural
The Natural History Section of the Belau National Museum is a newly
established department and is still in the process of setting up the
proper equipment and support staff. In the meantime, it presently has
two staff already on board, an ethnobotanist and an entomologist.
Bird-Suebek el Charm of the Belau National Museum
Recent Publications & Policies
Traditional knowledge and use of plants with a focus on two
villages: Oikull and Ibobang. (Ethnobotany Project between BNM
and New York Botanical Garden.)
Olsen, AR and M Eberdong. 2009. Species Richness and Other Noteworthy Observations at an Important Bird Area in Palau. Micronesica 41: 59-59.
Olsen, AR 2009. New Record of the Marine Littoral Ant, Odontomachus malignus Smith, F. 1859, in Palau. Pan-Pacific Entomologist 85: 25-26.
Olsen, AR 2009. Palau. Pp. 715-717 in Encyclopedia of Islands (Gillespie et al. eds.). University of California Press Berkeley.
Pratt, HD, M Falanruw, MT Etpison, AR Olsen, et al. 2010. Noteworthy Bird Observations from the Caroline and Marshall Islands 1988-2009, Including Six New Records for Micronesia. Wild Birds (in press).
Ngaremlengui Public Law 7-03 Ngermeskang Bird Sanctuary (the law cites Olsen & Eberdong 2009).
- President’s Executive Order 280 – National Bird-Monitoring Program (BNM 2010)
During 2007 and 2008 men and women from the villages of Oikull,
Airai State and Ibobang, Ngatpang State were interviewed regarding the
use of plants in their daily lives. The main theme was life's cycle
from birth to death and how plants are used for food, shelter,
medicine, clothing, art and entertainment and other cultural and
spiritual purposes. Men were more knowledgeable about plants used for
construction, tool making, firewood, fishing and canoe making. Women
were more knowledgeable about plants used for food preparation and
medicinal uses for the first birth. Both men and women were
knowledgeable about plants used for food, toys and art and general
purpose medicines for primary care. Conservation of plant diversity,
integration of traditional knowledge and practices in the educational
programs and promoting culture through local, regional and
international fairs will ensure that Palauan culture will survive into
the next millennia.