CNHM is a national institution in charge of natural history collections, carrying out data and specimen collection, scientific research and public awareness activities.

Four departments (zoology, botany, geology, mineralogy), 30 curators and professional staff and over 2 mil. specimens mostly collected in Croatia and neighbouring areas, are making CNHM a place that engage public and scientists alike. CNHM is part of both national cultural and scientific networks. Amongst most interesting collections are those of Krapina Neanderthal hominids (largest in the world), speleological collection and numerous holotypes. In science, CNHM carries out numerous projects related to nature and biodiversity inventorying, monitoring, research and conservation. Our pioneering activities in biodiversity research have always set the standards providing needed results for species and ecosystems conservation. Amongst other, sea turtle research in Croatia has been initiated and lead by CNHM staff since early 90es. Since that time, CNHM carried out the Adriatic marine turtle project aimed at collecting the baseline data on sea turtle distribution, human interactions and conservation status in the Croatian Adriatic. The activities of the program resulted in the legal protection of sea turtles, information related to threats and threats mitigation etc. Through our activities in education we aim at creating cooperation throughout Croatia to support learning and through innovative ways engage society to realize and understand the significance of natural diversity. Therefore, CNHM is active in public education and awareness programs developed for widest audience. Lectures, workshops, permanent exhibition and organisation of large thematic natural-history exhibitions etc are some of them. As part of this activities the exhibition on sea turtles has been developed several years ago, aiming at presenting the results of the research carried out in the Adriatic Sea.