More than 175 million people visit AZA-accredited zoos and aquariums annually. Exceptional management of the animals within, and cooperatively between these institutions, is vital for ensuring that healthy, genetically diverse populations are sustained. Information, protocols, and tools have been developed for animal record keeping, collection planning, and population management that serve to facilitate exceptional animal management techniques.
Animal Data and Record Keeping
Animal data and records must be expertly documented in an effective and efficient manner. The AZA Animal Data Information Systems Committee and Institutional Data Management Advisory Group focus on advancing and providing the latest technology in this field of expertise. A variety of reference materials and animal record keeping software programs including ARKS4, MedARKS, and SPARKS, have been developed to meet these objectives. Read more about Animal Data and Record Keeping.
Extensive collection planning processes are required to meet not only the needs of each AZA-accredited institution, but also to secure the well-being of the species as a whole between these institutions. Several tools and mechanisms are provided to facilitate the development of superior Institutional and Regional Collection Plans including an online Animal Exchange Database. Read more about Collection Planning.
Population Management and Related Centers
AZA-accredited institutions must work cooperatively to ensure that the species they care for are managed in a way that assures appropriate population sizes, demography, genetic diversity, and sustainability. The AZA Population Management and Wildlife Contraception Centers play integral roles in meeting this purpose. Group population management strategies and a variety of population management software programs including MateRX, Outbreak, PopLink, PM2000, SPARKS, VORTEX, and ZooRisk have also been developed to further cooperative management techniques. Read more about Population Management and Related Centers.