The EAZA Biobank is the primary resource for genetically supporting population management and conservation research as well as connecting researchers to available samples.

The EAZA membership has established dedicated biobanking facilities for the European and Middle Eastern zoo and aquarium community. Given the expanding needs and possibilities for the use of molecular tools in population management it is necessary to ensure optimal and long term storage of high quality material that will have a significant impact on future population management and conservation research. The purpose of the EAZA Biobank is to be a primary resource for genetically supporting population management and conservation research as well as connect researchers to available samples.

 The EAZA Biobank currently consists of four banking hubs for the EAZA community located in Antwerp Zoo, the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland (RZSS) Edinburgh Zoo, the Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research (IZW) and Copenhagen Zoo, each of whom currently have adequate facilities and staff available to ensure the keeping, curating and registering of samples under optimal and long-term storage, supporting the aim of the EAZA Biobank.

Recently, the IUCN approved motion 094 ‘Linking in situ and ex situ efforts to save threatened species’. This motion is acknowledging ‘the increasing value and potential of biobanking as an ex situ conservation resource to secure genetic material, enable conservation-directed research, improve the viability of small populations, and provide a backstop against extinction in certain cases. This acknowledgement highlights the importance of participation in the EAZA Biobank through submission of samples. Your participation not only helps to strengthen this resource for our community, but allows us to be a stronger link in a global network of biobanks for conservation purposes. For more information click here

All EAZA member institutions are encouraged to sample and send to their regional biobank hub as determined by their country (send an email to biobank@eaza.net for more information).

Terms of Service, Standard Operating procedures

The Standard Operating Procedures details the requirements and credentials of an approved EAZA Biobank Hub facilities and the Terms of Service document outlines the priorities and research focus of EAZA Biobank as well as the services it brings to the Zoo and Aquarium community at large.

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Submit a sample

After a sample has been collected, the contributor completes the appropriate Material Transfer Agreement form, providing all required data regarding the sample(s) being submitted and agreeing to the terms and conditions of the submission. 

Material Transfer Agreement:

Download the EAZA Biobank sample submission template by clicking here

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Requesting samples for use in research

For researchers looking to acquire samples, please contact the Biobank Coordinator for the availability of the sample(s) required. If available, please apply for access and use of desired samples using the application form and outlining the intended use of the sample(s).


Sampling protocols

Which samples to collect for the EAZA Biobank and how to properly collect, store and ship them to your designated biobank.

When shipping samples please remember to include the “UN 3373 Biological substance category B” sticker or image on the package. You can find more information here


EAZA Biobank for aquatic species

To work towards the increased participation of aquariums in the EAZA Biobank initiative, and increased sample collection from aquatic species, we have developed a strategy and species-specific sampling protocol, in consultation with the European Union of Aquarium Curators and EAZA aquatic TAGs.



The EAZA Biobank recognizes the need for cryopreservation of live cells (gametes, cell lines) within the EAZA community, but is unable to offer these services at this time. However, we are seeking to develop relationships and collaborations with initiatives which are able to provide appropriate and dedicated resources, expertise and storage. We will also strive to provide information and guidance to benefit the pursuit of cryopreservation services by our members.


Contact information

For inquiries please contact the Biobank Coordinator

Royal Zoological Society of Scotland

  • Shipping country: UK, Ireland, Qatar, UAE, Kuwait
  • Royal Zoological Society of Scotland
    WildGenes Laboratory
    134 Corstorphine Road Edinburgh EH12 6TS, UK
  • Website: RZSS WildGenes Biobank
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Royal Zoological Society of Antwerp

  • Shipping country: Belgium, Luxembourg, The Netherlands, France, Greece, Israel, Italy, Turkey
  • Dr. Philippe Helsen
  • Centre for Research and Conservation
  • Royal Zoological Society of Antwerp
    Koningin Astridplein 20-26
    2018 Antwerp, Belgium
  • Website: Zooscience
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Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research

  • Shipping country: Germany, Austria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Russia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Switzerland, Ukraine
  • Dr. Jörns Fickel
  • Department of Evolutionary Genetics
    Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research (IZW)
    Alfred-Kowalke Strasse 17
    10315 Berlin, Germany
  • Website: Leibniz-IZW Biobank
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Copenhagen Zoo

  • Shipping country: Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Sweden, Portugal, Spain
  • Dr. Christina Hvilsom
  • Copenhagen Zoo
    Roskildevej 38
    2000 Frederiksberg, Denmark

If shipping to the Copenhagen Biobank Hub, please be aware that an additional ‘Trade Document’ is required. Please complete this document and submit it to the Hub along with the required MTA (above) and sample list and any other required documentation.

Denmark- Trade Document

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