Our Natural History building contains many fauna specimens of native Hong Kong species, as well as endangered non-native species of known provenance or extreme rarity.
The Natural History Collection was established in 1994 at the commencement of the new mission for KFBG. The objective of the collection was to store and safeguard valuable fauna specimens with the purpose of strengthening the understanding of local ecology and biodiversity and making them available for future research work and for visiting scientists to inspect. In 2010 the Wildlife DNA library project was also developed and now sits alongside the Natural History Collection Project. Its purpose is to store animal tissue as DNA samples taken from native Hong Kong species or endangered non-native species of known provenance or extreme rarity. The Wildlife DNA Project has also facilitated genetic studies relating to provenance, the outputs of which have been used to inform the management of cases arriving through the Wild Animal Rescue Centre; for example whether a particular animal is considered native to Hong Kong and can therefore be released into the wild, or whether alternative placement options should be explored.
The majority of specimens have been gathered through the Wild Animal Rescue Centre and the Wild Snake Rescue Project. Some specimens have also been provided by AFCD, members of the public or carcasses found by KFBG staff. Whenever practical and non-detrimental (to a living specimen) of a native Hong Kong species or an endangered species of known provenance or extreme rarity, tissue samples are taken for the Wildlife DNA Project.
We currently hold samples from approximately 2,000 different individuals, the majority of which are from birds, reptiles or mammals. This figure does not include the many invertebrate specimen collections that we have been entrusted to hold on long-term loan or that have been donated to KFBG.