Animal Programs Monthly Update

June 2023

AZA Animal Programs Tip-of-the-Month

Need to change your facility’s Institutional Liaison (IL)? Simply have your facility Director email with the new intended IL CC-ed on the email. With Director approval, the Animal Programs team can change your IL right away, and provide materials for your new IL to get started in their role!

ZIMS for Studbooks Tip-of-the-Month

Rearing is no longer a Required field!

Please note, entering rearing is no longer required when entering a new animal, but there will still be pending updates for rearing if it is entered for a linked Husbandry record. If you have any questions please reach out to your population biologist or

Animal Program Articles

Interested in writing an SSP Highlight for your program to share your successes with the community? A sample template is available on the AZA website to help you get started. Drafts are accepted anytime and can be submitted to the AZA's Conservation, Management, & Welfare Sciences Department.


Reminder: SSP Reimagination/EMRF SSP transition to SAFE
Earlier this year, an announcement went out that several externally managed, recovery-focused ex situ programs would no longer qualify for SSP status as a result of the SSP Reimagination process. However, several such programs would still be interested in continuing to access the services of AZA’s Population Management Center (PMC) and Reproductive Management Center (RMC). By applying to become a SAFE program, those ex situ programs would be able to retain PMC/RMC services, plus a host of other SAFE-specific benefits.

To find out more about SAFE, please visit the “Are you part of an Externally Managed, Recovery-Focused SSP? Interested in joining SAFE?” section on the SAFE Program Resources page. Resources on this page include the “Externally Managed” Recovery Programs in SSP Reimagining webinar, Recommendations handbook and the AZA Center Services Request Form.


Are you interested in proposing or joining a SAFE program? Reach out to your colleagues or contact for more information. Don't forget to join the SAFE: Saving Animals From Extinction Network group for real-time updates.

AZA Calendar

AZA Courses: Open Registration! 

·         Please visit the AZA Website to view upcoming AZA Courses.

·         Animal Training Applications in Zoo and Aquarium Settings 

·         Managing Animal Enrichment and Training Programs  

o    Date: October 7-12, 2023

o    Location: Winter Haven, FL (Hosted by Natural Encounters)

o    Resigtration: Please register using the hyperlinks by August 22nd, 2023


·         Principles of Elephant Management II

o    Date: October 16-19, 2023

o    Location: Orlando, FL (Hosted by Disney’s Animal Kingdom)

o    Registration: Please register using the hyperlinks (registration currently open)


·         Animal Welfare: Evidence-Based Management 

o    Date: October 22-27, 2023

o    Location: Brookfield, IL (Hosted by Brookfield Zoo)

o    Registration: Please register using the hyperlinks (registration currently open)

AZA Upcoming Events

·         New World Primate Husbandry Workshop 2023

o    Date: November 5-10, 2023

o    Location: Cleveland, OH. 

o    Register:

o    The New World Primate Husbandry Workshop is an interactive, and fun, learning experience designed for NWP keepers and supervisors. Zoo experts will be presenting on topics related to NWP husbandry, wellbeing, training, enrichment, conservation, population sustainability, exhibit design, and mixed-species management. 

·         Large Canid and Hyenid Husbandry Course

o    Date: November 3-6, 2023

o    Location: Miami, FL (ZooMiami)

o    Register: Applications should be sent to Registration fee is $150. Registration and hotel links will be sent out once your application has been accepted and your spot secured. Priority will be given to canid and hyenid caretakers and managers.

o    If you are a canid or hyenid enthusiast and want to expand your knowledge, please join us for this year's husbandry course. The class will cover 3 days of lectures and activities focused on the care of large canids (maned wolves, painted dogs, Mexican wolves and red wolves) and spotted hyenas. The course is taught by a diverse group of experts on topics including: reproduction, social management and aggression, training, enrichment, nutrition, veterinary care, problem solving, and much more!

Population Management Webinars Dropdown

Past Webinars:
Please visit to view recordings of ones you missed.

  • My SSP Needs Help! Introduction to interim breeding and transfer recommendations for population management
    • In Part 1, we introduced population management tools and resources, provided examples of when you may need interim analyses and answered some of your questions about interim population planning.
    • In Part 2, we took a deeper dive looking at how these tools and resources have been applied to real world interim planning examples and answered some of your questions via a panel of experts.
  • Communication #1, Managing animal programs: In this webinar we discussed how communication and networking are keys to success.
  • Communication #2: In this webinar we discussed how to get organized for planning and discover helpful tools for virtual planning meetings.
  • Thinking outside the box: non-traditional population management

Funding and Awards

Visit AZA's Other Conservation Funding Sources page for information about grants provided by AZA-accredited facilities as well as external sources. Please email any other funding opportunities to AZA's Conservation, Management, & Welfare Sciences Department for posting on the website.

New Program Leaders

TAG Chair

Kristen Wolfe, Disney’s Animal Kingdom

SSP Coordinator and Studbook Keeper

Erin Bussom, Central Florida Zoo and Botanical Gardens

Tamlyn Sapp, Woodland Park Zoo

SSP Coordinator

Annabell Marcum, Potter Park Zoological Gardens

Adam Felts, Columbus Zoo and Aquarium

Studbook Keeper

Samantha Gaeta, Bronx Zoo

Jacob Shanks, San Diego Zoo Safari Park

Jonathan Rold Houston Zoo 

New Program Leader Vacancies

Find applications and instructions regarding vacancies in the Animal Program Handbooks.  Applications are due July 1, 2023, unless otherwise noted. For a full list of available Program Leader positions, visit the Current Program Leader Vacancies page.

TAG Chair

Charadriiformes TAG
Please send application materials to AZA’s Conservation, Management, and Welfare Sciences Department.

SAG Chair

Institutional Data Management Advisory Group Chair 
Please send application materials to AZA’s Conservation, Management, and Welfare Sciences Department

SSP Coordinator and Studbook Keeper

Please contact RIL TAG Chair Rebecca Young, for application materials

Please send application materials to Beau Parks, Raptor TAG Chair

Studbook Keeper

Please send application materials to Brian Aucone, Snake TAG Chair

Please send application materials to Keith Lovett, Anseriformes TAG Chair

Please send application materials to Beau Parks, Raptor TAG Chair

Other Animal Program Participant Vacancies

Ambassador Animal Advisor

Ambassador Animal Advisors work with TAG or SSP members to serve as a resource and provide expertise on topics related to the use of a taxon or species in an ambassador capacity. View the position description for more information on how to apply. Applications are accepted anytime.

Want to include a vacancy for your program? Only Program Leader positions are required to be posted to the Monthly Update, but if you are interested in announcing another position, we are happy to help. Please email the AZA Conservation, Management, & Welfare Sciences Department for posting on the website.

New Publications

Please note that all documents are available for download on the Program's page found by logging in and searching the Animal Programs Database.


Crane, White-naped
Armadillo, Six-banded
Gecko, Giant Leaf-tailed
Gecko, Lined Leaf-tailed
Lemur, Brown
Gorilla, Western Lowland
Turtle, Arakan Forest
Turtle, Malaysian Giant
Owl, Snowy
Tanager, Silver-beaked
Leopard, Amur
Murre, Common
Hippopotamus, River
Vulture, Ruppell’s

Regional Collection Plans

Rodent, Insectivore, and Lagomorph TAG

Breeding & Transfer Plans

Iguana, Grand Cayman Blue
Iguana, Jamaican
Macaw, Red-fronted
Tree Shrew, Northern
Hornbill, Red-billed
Ibis, Waldrapp
Ibis, Southern Bald (Cape)
Kookaburra, Laughing
Shama, White-rumped
Pelican, Penk-backed
Roller, Blue-bellied
Crocodile, Orinoco


Want to contribute to the Update?

All announcements for the monthly Animal Programs Update should be submitted to the AZA Conservation, Management, & Welfare Sciences Department by the 25th of the prior month.

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