By the end of 2023, the biobank had accumulated over 4000 samples

The aim of biobanks is to preserve information about genetic diversity by collecting and storing biological material from endangered species for future research purposes.

The easiest biological materials to store include tissue samples, hair samples, feathers, feces, and carcasses. It’s also possible to preserve living tissues in the form of cell lines, gametes, and even embryos, but collecting and storing them is not currently carried out at Tallinn Zoo.

The Species Conservation Research Center began collecting biological material from various species in 2017. The zoo’s biobank collects tissue samples mainly from zoo animals upon their death, as well as hair, feather, and blood samples from approximately 120 species (birds, mammals, reptiles, amphibians) during veterinary procedures. Collection from wild animal species living in Estonia has also begun.

Samples from the biobank have been used both in the zoo’s DNA laboratory and sent to other research groups for study. If there is interest in using samples from the zoo’s biobank for research, one should contact the DNA analysis specialist, Grete Nummert, at


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