The Wildlife DNA Library Project was started in 2010. 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 Project has facilitated research into local species, in particular allowing the genetic study of species where there is an information gap locally. Genetics studies have taken place both internally at KFBG in collaboration with the Flora Conservation Department and externally, through collaboration with the local universities. The results of these studies have, in some cases, informed the management of live animal cases arriving through the Wild Animal Rescue Centre (WARC); for example whether a particular animal is considered native to Hong Kong and can therefore be considered for release into the wild, or whether alternative placement options should be explored.
The majority of samples held in the Wildlife DNA Library have been gathered through the Wild Animal Rescue Centre and the Wild Snake Rescue Project. 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. Some samples have also been taken from deceased specimens that have been provided by AFCD, members of the public or carcasses found by KFBG staff and that have been donated to us for curation in our Natural History Collection for future research use. DNA samples are cold stored in 95-96% ethanol.