Animal Care Manuals

« Back to Animal Care and Management

ANIMAL CARE MANUALS




Kor Bustard Blue web

Animal Care Manuals (ACMs) provide a compilation of animal care and management knowledge that has been gained from recognized species experts, including AZA Taxon Advisory Groups (TAGs), Species Survival Plan® Programs (SSPs), biologists, veterinarians, nutritionists, reproduction physiologists, behaviorists and researchers. ACMs present a compilation of knowledge provided by recognized animal experts based on the current science, practice, and technology of animal management. The manual assembles basic requirements, best practices, and animal care recommendations to maximize capacity for excellence in animal care and welfare. The manual should be considered a work in progress, since practices continue to evolve through advances in scientific knowledge. The use of information within this manual should be in accordance with all local, state, and federal laws and regulations concerning the care of animals. The recommendations are not exclusive management approaches, diets, medical treatments, or procedures, and may require adaptation to the specific needs of individual animals and particular circumstances in each institution. Commercial entities and media identified are not necessarily endorsed by AZA. The statements presented throughout the body of the manual do not represent standards of care unless specifically identified as such in clearly marked sidebar boxes.

Completed Animal Care Manuals

AZA accredited institutions are required to have copies of, and ensure that all animal care staff has access to, the completed ACMs for species within their collection (AZA Accreditation Standard 1.2.1).  Completed Animal Care Manuals include:


Development and Publication

The development of each ACM is coordinated by the AZA Animal Welfare Committee and managed by AZA's Animal Conservation Office. A complete ACM Template  is available to all AZA members.  The template is divided into chapters, each of which focuses on a different animal care or management topic.

Each chapter contains specific sections with general introductory information and corresponding AZA Accreditation Standards identified. Each section lists bulleted points, developed with input from AZA Committees, Scientific Advisory Groups, and the Animal Program’s Population Management and Wildlife Contraception Centers, that are addressed by the authors.

The Developmental Processes used to compose each ACM follows a specific sequence that includes several review procedures (internal and external) before the AZA Conservation Department reviews it and ultimately approves publication. There are six primary steps needed to complete the publication process:

  1. The TAG or SSP will identify an ACM Coordinator to serve as the main communications conduit between the authors and AZA’s Animal Welfare Committee and Conservation Department.
  2. The ACM Coordinator will work with the authors to compile all scientific data and professional information about the natural history and management strategies of the taxa and will incorporate this information into the pre-existing sections of the ACM template.
  3. Upon completion of the draft ACM, the ACM Coordinator will work with the authors to identify two or more external review experts and will submit this information and the draft ACM to the AZA Conservation Department for proofreading and editing.
  4. When all edits are agreed upon, the AZA Conservation Department will post the final draft of the ACM on the AZA website and send it to the following for the required 30-day member comment period: External Reviewers; TAG Steering Committee; SSP Coordinator and the Chairs the Animal Welfare, Wildlife Conservation and Management, and Research and Technology Committees as well as Avian (if applicable), Behavior, Biomaterials Banking, Contraception, Endocrinology, Nutrition, Reproduction, and Research Scientific Advisory Groups.
  5. The ACM Coordinator will work with the TAG/SSP, AWC and Conservation Department to review all comments, incorporate suggestions as deemed necessary and provide a written justification report for omitting suggestions deemed unnecessary.
  6. Once completed, the AZA Conservation Department will provide final approval and post the ACM on the AZA website accordingly.

Animal Care Manuals In Progress

ACM

 AZA 1st Proof

 AP Edit/Review

 AZA 2nd Proof AP Edit/Review AZA Final Proof 30-Day Comment Period

Shorebirds

YES  

YES  

YES   

YES

 YES

YES

Giant Pacific Octopus

YES

YES

YES

YES

YES

In Progress

 Penguin

 YES     

YES

YES

YES

 YES

-

 Flamingo

YES

YES

YES

In Progress

 -

 -

Tiger    

YES

YES

YES

In Progress

-

-

Sun and Sloth Bears

YES

YES

In Progress

-

-

-

 Cheetah

YES

 YES 

  In Progress

 -

 -

 -

California Sea Lion

YES

In Progress

  -

 -

 -

 -

Gorilla

YES

In Progress

  -

 -

 -

 -

Hummingbird

YES

In Progress

  -

 -

 -

 -

Nocturnal Prosimians

YES

In Progress

-

-

-

-

Owl

YES

In Progress

-

-

-

-

Porcupine

YES

In Progress  

-

-

-

-

Roadrunner

YES

In Progress  

-

-

-

-

Sea Otter

YES  

In Progress  

-  

-  

-  

-  

Sifaka (lemurs)

YES  

In Progress  

-

-

-

-

Stork

YES

In Progress  

-

-

-

-

 Attwater's Prairie Chicken

 Yes

In Progress

-

-

-

-

Seabirds    

Yes

In Progress

-

-

-

-

Giraffe

In Progress

-

-

-

-

-