Bare Bones Restoration
A bit of background information
The Hong Kong Biodiversity Museum (HKBM), located within the School of Biological Sciences, is the first museum dedicated to the study and education of biodiversity, and presents over 13,000 specimens for visitors to enjoy.
Through free admission, the HKBM allows the general public to come and learn about the diversity of the organisms that surround us and others more unfamiliar. Since our opening last May, we have been overjoyed by the enthusiasm and interest of the public to come visiting the museum and we work to make your experience an unforgettable experience.
Before you come for your first visit, or come again visiting the HKBM, let us tell you a bit more about the history of our collection. Due to a lack of archives or pre-existing database before our recent work starting from 2015, the history of numerous specimens that compose our collection remains uncertain. We do know though, that several of our specimens, in particular the birds, mammals and other vertebrates, were prepared in the 1940’s to 70’s, and thus have in addition to a biological importance, also an historical one.
Unfortunately, some specimens have had a bit of a bumpy ride before reaching us (see pictures below); and hence, require special attention and restoration before becoming a part of our exhibits.
In order to improve the unique experience offered by the HKBM into the incredible and fascinating diversity of organisms found in Hong Kong and globally, we are counting on your help to:
Restore damaged specimens to expand the collection for education, conservation study and research
Develop educational programmes for the community, including expanding guided tours to schools, NGOs and to offer more opportunities to the public to visit the museum
Promote awareness of the community in protecting the biodiversity in Hong Kong
Currently, two positions - a Curator Manager and an Educational Manager, are supported for some time, allowing us to work on a number of tasks related to our specimens’ collection and to organise tours twice a week, on Wednesdays and Saturdays.
To develop new projects and activities, the museum relies mainly on the generosity of donors to help us grow and to support our outreach programmes. Hence, we are introducing this new fund-raising initiative that is of utmost importance to us, and we hope for you as well.
This is where you can all play a role in supporting this campaign, allowing us to fix these beautiful, but broken, specimens, for your future enjoyment. We focus specifically on 10 large and astonishing specimens, which include:
A badger, a monitor lizard, a chevrotain, a short-beaked echidna, a pangolin, a porcupine, a Chinese muntjac, a Chinese giant salamander, and a green sea turtle!
Additionally, we also have many other smaller specimens which are in a very chaotic condition and which require delicate and attentive work to be fixed. We like to call it our army of skeletons.
The costs of fixing these specimens depend on their size, the types of broken body parts, their preservation status and the work needed. Here, we determined a progressive scale of costs which, thanks to your generosity, will allow us to fix those specimens. Ultimately, we hope to be able to fix all of them so they could then be displayed into the HKBM.
Increasing our visitors’ capacity
Our team includes only two full-time staff to curate the collection and organize the visits (among many other tasks). To respond to your demands of visiting the museum, we thus would love to offer more opening days, such as Sundays for the public, and also extra days during the week for school and group visits. To be able to do so, we would like to grow our team so a new guide could help in organizing more visits. We thus count on your generosity to allow more people to visit the museum, and more often!
Stages of fund-raising campaign
The figure below introduces the different steps and fund-raising stages that we will need to complete both of our objectives fully. We hope that thanks to your help we will be able to reach these amazing goals to welcome you in the best conditions!
In summary, this campaign aims to:
Fix at least ten of our broken specimens so they can join the rest of the collection for your enjoyment when you visit the HKBM! This part is estimated in total to HK$ 24,400 with the breakdown per specimens shown above. As you see, every dollar counts to help us achieving these different thresholds.
Add a new tour guide so we can open the museum more frequently to the public and to scholar groups. The hiring of a new part time guide for one year is estimated to about HK$ 150,000 and for two years to about HK$ 305,000.
Additional funds will help us to support extra activities and the purchase of new equipment to maximize the knowledge that we can communicate to our visitors about the amazing diversity of species encountered in Hong Kong and elsewhere.
Below, we introduce the different specimens that need to be fixed with dimensions: L*W*H in centimetres, and their place and date of collection when available.
Badger (Meles sp.): 60.9*22.7*29.4 cm – From Hong Kong (1963)
Monitor Lizard (Varanus sp.): 57.3*20.5*6.3 cm
Chevrotain or Java Mouse-deer (Tragulus javanicus): 41.2*16*24.5 cm
Short-beaked Echidna (Tachyglossus aculeatus): 36.7*22.7*15.8 cm – From Australia (1960)
Pangolin (Manis sp.): 73.7*23.4*16.6 cm
East Asian Porcupine (Hystrix brachyura): 52.4*17.5*17.5 cm
Chinese Muntjac (Muntiacus reevesi): 100*31*64.5 cm
Chinese Giant Salamander (Andrias davidianus): 84.2*11.4*21.7 cm
Green sea turtle shell (Chelonia mydas): 98*74*32 cm – From Hong Kong (1965)
Army of Skeletons (4 full boxes – only one shown above)
About the Hong Kong Biodiversity Museum (HKBM)
Opened to the public since May 2021, the Hong Kong Biodiversity Museum (HKBM) is the first museum solely dedicated to biodiversity and presents the largest specimens collection within Hong Kong. Playing a crucial role in the understanding and conservation of local and regional biodiversity, it strives to be a natural history museum promoting environmental education and appreciation of biodiversity, fostering its preservation as a part of mankind’s natural heritage and by supporting scientific research on biodiversity.
The museum does not only offer a unique opportunity for visitors to learn about thousands of species that compose our ecosystems within Hong Kong, but also within Asia and across the six other continents. The establishment of a rich collection represents an important step to raise public awareness about the diversity and beauty of species who we share this planet with. It also helps develop research in biodiversity, conservation and a range of other fields in biology. The development and preservation of this natural heritage collection, or biobank, are paramount for understanding the diversity and ecology of Hong Kong species, and preserve specimens for future educational and research programmes.
The HKBM welcomes benefactors to support our activities and future development, while sharing a similar goal to enhance the understanding and appreciating of nature and of its different components.
HKBM website: https://www.hkbiodiversitymuseum.org/
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