Crocodilian Biology and Captive Management

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CBCM Alligator

Lots of croc talk!

April 1-8, 2016
St. Augustine Alligator Farm Zoological Park
St. Augustine, FL

Please note, payment is now due at the time of registration. Please do not submit a registration form without payment, as it will not be processed.

To pay by check or purchase order:
Download the CBCM COURSE REGISTRATION FORM and return by mail with check or purchase order

To pay by credit card:
You can now register and pay online with a credit card! Just log in to our new website. Non-members can log in too after creating an account. After logging in, choose "Upcoming Events" from the menu on the left. Next, click on the title of the event for which you would like to register. Finally, choose "Event Registration" from the options at the top and complete the registration process. When registering online, there is no need to submit the registration form.

Course Description

Crocodilian Biology and Captive Management concentrates on the captive maintenance techniques, husbandry, breeding, and special requirements for the care of crocodiles, caiman, gharials, and alligators in zoos and aquariums. Relevant topics on basic crocodilian biology such as taxonomy, reproductive biology, behavior, anatomy, physiology, and conservation are included as the foundation for captive management practices.  Join us at the only facility that houses all existing species of crocodilians and learn from the experts! Please note:  Animal capture is not a part of this course; capture experience can be obtained from SAAF staff after successful completion of the class. 

Tuition & Expenses

Early Bird Rates:
$1050 for AZA Individual Members
$1,150 for Non-members

Regular Rates: 
$1150 for AZA Individual Members
$1250 for Non-members

Early bird registration deadline: 12 weeks prior to course start date
Final Registration deadline: 4 weeks prior to course start date

The AZA registration fee above covers tuition for the course, as well as lunches each day of the course. Other expenses include hotel (roughly $60/nt plus tax), travel, and other meals.

Scholarship funding is available through a competitive process.  The St. Augustine Alligator Farm coordinates an additional scholarship opportunity for this course, the John L. Behler Scholarship.


Target Audience

This course is designed for zookeepers and professional biologists who work with crocodilians or who may work with them in the near future.


Students must be at least 21 years of age.  Priority will be given to AZA members, but volunteers and private herpetologists are welcome to attend.  International applicants and those not affiliated with an AZA accredited institution will be considered on a case-by-case basis;  please submit a letter describing your intended benefit from taking this course.

Course Registration

Checks sent for course payment will be cashed immediately upon receipt as per standard business practices.  Cashing your check does not indicate that you have been accepted into a course. You will receive an acceptance email or waitlist email once acceptance decisions are made.

Travel & Accommodations

Jacksonville International Airport (JAX) is the closest airport.

Course participants stay at the Sleep Inn in St. Augustine, a 10-minute walk away from the St. Augustine Alligator Farm.
Please wait until you are admitted into the course before making your reservations.  You will reserve an email containing detailed information regarding your accommodations and transportation once you are admitted. 

Topics & Instructors

The school is a balanced program of classroom lecture, demonstrations, and hands-on wet labs. Relevant topics on basic crocodilian biology including taxonomy, reproductive biology, behavior, anatomy, physiology, and conservation are included as the foundation for captive management practices. Management subjects include enclosure design, social groups, introductions, breeding, nesting, egg incubation, training, sexing, capture techniques, chemical immobilization, diet, medical care, and population management.  

This course is taught by some of the country's premier crocodilian experts:
Kent A. Vliet, Ph.D., Coordinator of Laboratories - University of Florida
John Brueggen, Director - St. Augustine Alligator Farm
John Groves, Emeritus Curator of Herpetology - North Carolina Zoo
Greg Lepera, Greg Lepera Photography 
Steve Featherstone, Manager - Little Ray's Reptile Zoo and Nature Centre - Hamilton
Jessi Krebs, Curator of Reptiles & Amphibians - Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo
Elliott Jacobson, Professor of Zoological Medicine - University of Florida
Lori Lawson, Chair of Fundraising Committee - Crocodilian Advisory Group
Scott Pfaff, Curator of Herpetology, Riverbanks Zoo and Garden
Peter Brazaitis - Wildlife Conservation Society (retired)
Kevin Torregrosa, Collections Manager of Herpetology -  Bronx Zoo 
Mei Len Sanchez-Barr, Education Liaison - Crocodilian Advisory Group
Bruce Shwedick, Director - Crocodile Conservation Services
Bill Zeigler, Senior Vice President of Collections and Animal Care - Chicago Zoological Society


For additional details please contact the AZA Professional Development Department or call (301) 562-0777 ext 251.