About Us

Guide to Using Specimens and Library Collections

Information on Available Samples

The Yamashina Institute for Ornithology (YIO) collects and preserves various types of bird tissue samples (e.g., muscle, blood, and feathers), mainly for DNA extraction, and also DNA samples. The YIO provides researchers with these samples as a contribution to the academic community. A list of samples which the YIO can provide is available for the convenience of users. The YIO expects those who are interested in samples to examine the list and be aware that:

● It is possible that samples requested from the list cannot be provided following detailed re-examination of their condition, such as sample quality or quantity and/or problems with legal procedures.

● It is possible that samples being used by the YIO cannot be provided.

● On the first Wednesday every month, several reviewers will decide whether or not to provide sample(s) in principle. Note that the notification of decision can be delayed depending on the receipt date of a request. Researchers should read the following Restrictions and Instructions before making a request.

Researchers should read the following Restrictions and Instructions before making a request.


Researchers provided with samples by the YIO must abide by the following criteria:

1. Researchers must not use the provided sample(s) for purposes other than those stated on the Sample Request Form.

2. Researchers must not transfer the provided sample(s) to other researchers and/or third-party institutes.

3. Researchers must not use the results obtained from the provided samples for commercial purposes.

4. Researchers agree to acknowledge the YIO whenever results are published through a scientific paper, book, or presentation at a conference.

5. Researchers agree to send the YIO a reprint copy of any paper that results from the provided samples.

6. Any DNA sequences generated from the provided samples must be registered with a DNA databank (e.g., GenBank).

7. Researchers must return sample remnants or useable product (e.g., DNA) whenever the YIO requests, and agree that the YIO may use them.

8. Although every effort is made to ensure the accuracy of information concerning scientific identification and locality, and to transport samples in a timely fashion without delay or damage, these samples are provided with no guarantee or quality assurance.

9. Researchers agree that, although the YIO attempts to comply with each applicant's request, it can choose another type of sample than that requested. For example, the YIO can decide to provide DNA samples instead of blood if the decision does not affect the applicant's scheme.


  YIO will decide whether or not to provide the applicant with sample(s) based on the submitted documents. In the decision process, special consideration will be given to the following two answers: (2-iii) purpose/significance of the research, methods, and expected scientific results and (2-iv) whether the applicant has done his/her best to collect samples for the present research so far, why he/she cannot collect more samples by himself/herself, and how the YIO sample(s) can contribute to complete his/her research.

1. Confirm in advance, whether the requested species is on the list. <excel ver.>
Note that samples of species listed on CITES cannot be transported abroad.

2. Prepare the documents answering all the following inquiries (i) through (vi). For (i) and (ii), download and use the YIO Sample Request Form<word ver.> <pdf ver.>. For the remaining inquiries (iii) ~ (vi), prepare documents in A4 papers, 1 – 2 pages, respectively. Submit the complete set of these documents to the YIO contact person (Dr. Shigeki Asai) by e-mail (asai(a)yamashina.or.jp). Please replace (a) with @ when you send an e-mail.

  • •(i) Representative and Laboratory
  • •(ii) Requested sample(s) –– sample ID and necessary mass
  • •(iii) Purpose (or significance) of the research (Please specify the funding of the study)
  • •(iv) Overall scheme for collecting samples used for the present research and the specific positioning of the YIO sample(s) in the scheme
  • •(v) Curriculum vitae
  • •(vi) Literature list of applicant's works concerning the present research, if any