Ambassador Animal Guidelines

AZA Ambassador Animal Guidelines (AAG) provide a compilation of knowledge provided by recognized animal and education experts based on the current science, practice, and technology of ambassador animal management and presentation. Each AAG assembles basic requirements, best practices, and animal care recommendations to maximize capacity for excellence in animal care and welfare of ambassador species.

The guidelines should be considered a work in progress, since practices continue to evolve through advances in scientific knowledge. The use of information within this document should be in accordance with all local, state, and federal laws and regulations concerning the care of animals. While some government laws and regulations may be referenced, these are not all-inclusive nor is this document intended to serve as an evaluation tool for those agencies. The recommendations included are not meant to be exclusive management approaches, diets, medical treatments, or procedures, and may require adaptation to meet the specific needs of individual animals and particular circumstances in each institution.

Available Ambassador Animal Guidelines

Crowned Crane
Eurasian and Verreaux's Eagle Owl
Laughing Kookaburra
Tawny Frogmouth

Development and Publication

The development of each AAG is coordinated by the AZA Ambassador Animal Scientific Advisory Group (AASAG) in partnership with the appropriate TAG/SSP. A complete AAG Template is available to all AZA members. The template is divided into chapters, each of which focuses on a different animal care, management, handling, and interpretation strategies of the taxa(on).

Each chapter's sections list bulleted points, derived from the Animal Care Manual template, that are to be addressed by the authors.

The developmental processes used to compose each AAG follow a specific sequence that includes review procedures before the AZA Conservation, Management, & Welfare Sciences Department reviews it and ultimately approves publication. There are six primary steps needed to complete the publication process:

  1. The AASAG, TAG/SSP, or other relevant committee will identify an AAG Coordinator to serve as the main communications conduit between the AASAG, SSP/TAG, Conservation Education Committee, and AZA Staff.
  2. The AAG Coordinator, along with an AASAG Liaison, will work with the TAG/SSP, AASAG, Conservation Education Committee, and other relevant committees to compile all scientific data and professional information about the natural history, management, handling, and interpretation strategies of the taxa(on) and will incorporate this information into the pre-existing sections of the AAG template.
  3. The AAG Coordinator or AASAG Liaison must submit the first draft to the AASAG Steering Committee (SC) for next review. 
  4. Upon completion of the draft AAG, the AAG Coordinator will communicate with the TAG/SSP and AASAG to identify two or more external review experts (including one who specializes in the care and presentation of the taxa(on)), and will submit this information and the draft AAG to the AZA Conservation, Management, & Welfare Sciences Department for proofreading and editing.
  5. When all edits are agreed upon, the AZA Conservation, Management, & Welfare Sciences Department will post the final draft of the AAG on the AZA website and send it to the following for the required 30-day member comment period: External Reviewers, TAG Steering Committee and/or SSP Management Group, AASAG Steering Committee, appropriate Program Leaders, Chair of the Conservation Education Committee, and Chair of the Animal Welfare Committee.
  6. The AAG Coordinator will work with the TAG/SSP and AASAG to review all comments, incorporate suggestions as deemed necessary and provide a written justification report for omitting suggestions deemed unnecessary.
  7. Once completed, the AZA Conservation, Management, & Welfare Sciences Department will provide final approval and post the AAG on the AZA website accordingly.

Ambassador Animal Guidelines In Progress

AAG AAG 1st Draft AASAG SC Review AZA 1st Proof AAG Edit & Review AZA/AAG 2nd Proof 30-Day Comment Period
Chinchilla Complete In Progress - - - -
Rabbit Complete In Progress - - - -
Tamandua In Progress - - - - -
Penguin In Progress - - - - -
Cheetah In Progress - - - - -
Kinkajou Complete In Progress - - - -
Prairie Dog In Progress - - - - -
Clouded Leopard In Progress - - - - -
Madagascar Hissing Roach Complete Complete In Progress      


I Accept

This site uses cookies to offer you a better browsing experience. If you continue using our website, we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies on this website and you agree to our Privacy Policy.