Animal Programs Monthly Update

June 2021

AZA Animal Programs Tip-of-the-Month

The June 2021 Sustainability Designations list for AZA Animal Programs is now available! Please visit the Animal Programs Resources section of the AZA website to download the full listing.

ZIMS for Studbooks

To give someone access to your studbook database, requests can be submitted to AZA's Conservation, Management, & Welfare Sciences Department. Before submitting a request, please review AZA’s Guidelines for Roles and Access to ZIMS for Studbooks and Sharing Studbook Data which outlines important policies for this process. This document is also available on the Resource Documents page of the AZA website. Need more help? Contact Species360 for questions about using ZIMS. For questions about your studbook, contact AZA or PMC.

Office Hours
Virtual “Office Hours” sessions for AZA Animal Program Leaders who have questions about ZIMS for Studbooks are planned for June 4 (12-1pm ET) and August 12 (3-4pm ET). Please contact AZA for the meeting links.

AZA’s Instructor Call for Service – Population Management I

AZA's Professional Development Program offers 18 team-taught courses led by skilled and knowledgeable professionals from the zoo and aquarium community. The Population Management I: Data Management and Processing (PMI)  teaches critical skills needed to maintain and manage a population database for a single zoo or aquarium population. Students learn to handle unique data management situations and to adapt to changing software. 

The PMI course has recently been fully transitioned to support the use of ZIMS for Studbooks as the primary studbook software for AZA. The course is being offered in a live virtual format in 2021, with plans to return to in-person instruction in 2022. The Professional Development Committee would like to invite experienced AZA Studbook Keepers, with a passion and enthusiasm for the educational development of their peers, to apply to be a course instructor for the Population Management I course. If interested, please send a resume and letter of interest, explaining your experience as a studbook keeper as well as any teaching or public speaking to the AZA Professional Development Department. The application deadline is Monday, June 21, 2021.

For more information, please view the course webpage: and Please see the attached instructor job description and if you have any questions, please contact the AZA Professional Development Department.

Animal Program Articles

Wyoming Toad SSP Highlight
The Wyoming Toad Species Survival Plan® promotes long-term sustainability of the ex situ population to support future reintroduction efforts while maintaining a sustainable assurance colony. Read how the Wyoming Toad SSP manages success in the full article on the AZA website or in the June print issue of Connect.

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.


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

Population Management Webinars

AZA is excited to announce a new webinar series focused on population management topics! Led by the Population Management II course instructor team, these monthly webinars will help all program leaders and staff at AZA members better understand the tools, resources and skills that support successful animal programs. Learn more about the sessions below. Visit to register as they become available or 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. Recording available on AZA's webinars page.
    • 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. Recording available on AZA’s webinars page.
  • June 23, 12-1:30pm EDT, Communication #1: Managing animal programs – communication and networking are key to success. Registration is now open.
  • July 22, 1-2:30pm EDT, Communication #2: Get organized for planning and discover helpful tools for virtual planning meetings. Registration is now open.
  • August 17, 12-1:30pm EDT, Thinking outside the box: non-traditional population management

Annual Larval Fish Conference – Virtual

The 44th Annual Larval Fish Conference will be held virtually June 24-26 and will include oral and poster presentations, networking events, picture contests, and more. Visit the University of Connecticut's website for more information or to register (deadline June 20).

APM Committee Office Hours

The AZA Animal Population Management (APM) Committee will be hosting "office hours" on July 12 (11am EDT) and July 16 (1pm EDT) for all members of the AZA community to ask questions on the reimagining population management process. This will be a great opportunity to have a more personalized conversation with members of the APM Committee and hear the other thoughtful questions being asked by your colleagues. Please email AZA for the meeting links and feel free to join at anytime during either of these opportunities. We look forward to seeing you there. 

Please note that no new information will be presented during these open office hours. It is encouraged that you review the current resources listed below and come prepared with any follow-up questions you may have. Access to these resources can be found on the Program Leader network groups or by emailing AZA.

  • General summary of reimagining population management in AZA
  • The SSP at 40: Using Trends and Data to Guide the Way We Re-Imagine Cooperative Population Management session recording from September 15, 2020
  • Animal Population Management (APM) Committee General Updates from the AZA Mid-Year Meeting on March 22, 2021
  • Presentation to Program Leaders from the AZA Mid-Year Meeting on March 23, 2021

Save the Date

Please visit the AZA calendar to find the current list of workshops, meetings, and training opportunities that are of interest to Animal Program participants and other zoo and aquarium professionals. To add to this list, please email AZA's Conservation, Management, & Welfare Sciences Department

Funding and Awards


This award program identifies and rewards significant achievement in avian husbandry and conservation. Please see attached for descriptions, requirements, and submission forms. Contact Steve Sarro with any questions. The deadline for the submissions is November 1.

RIL TAG Grant Winners

On behalf of the Rodent, Insectivore, Lagomorph TAG and with generous support from RodentPro Nutritional Feeds, we’d like to congratulate Rachel Hughes, of the Frank Buck Zoo, and Lou Keely, of Lincoln Park Zoo, who are this years recipients of the RIL TAG Grant award. Rachel will be using funds to support research of the use of Depo-Provera in black-tailed prairie dogs to help manage pregnancy and aggression. Lou will be studying the use of a natural substrate dig box for naked mole rats and how it affects their activity levels and behavior. We look forward to seeing how both of these projects progress and sharing the data learned with the rest of the RIL community. Thank you to the other applicants who submitted proposals and we encourage everyone to consider reapplying next year!

Visit AZA's Other Conservation Funding Sources page for information about grants provided by AZA-accredited institutions 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

SSP Coordinator and Studbook Keeper

Jen Kottyan, The Maryland Zoo in Baltimore

Emma Koepp, Sedgwick County Zoo

Flavia Parotti, Charles Paddock Zoo

SSP Coordinator

Audrey Williams, North Carolina Zoo

Karen Goodrowe-Beck, Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium

Studbook Keeper

Hollie Colahan, Birmingham Zoo

New Program Leader Vacancies

Find applications and instructions regarding vacancies in the Animal Program Handbooks.  Applications are due July 1, 2021, unless otherwise noted. For a full list of available Program Leader positions, visit the Current Program Leader Vacancies page.

SSP Coordinator and Studbook Keeper

Please send application materials to Tim Snyder, PACCT TAG Chair.

Please send application materials to Paula Carlson, Marine Fishes TAG Chair.

Studbook Keeper

Please send application materials to Brian Aucone, Snake TAG Chair.

Please send application materials to Ruth Marcec-Greaves, Amphibian TAG Chair.

Candidate Program Leader

Please send application materials to Paula Carlson, Marine Fishes 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.


Babirusa, North Sulawesi
Chuckwalla, San Esteban
Frog, Panamanian Golden (Ahogado)
Loris, Pygmy Slow
Monkey, DeBrazza’s
Partridge, Crested Wood
Vulture, Cape
Zebra, Plains

Regional Collection Plans

Antelope, Cattle, Giraffid, & Camelid TAG

Breeding & Transfer Plans

Chat, Snowy-Headed Robin
Goose, Orinoco
Kangaroo, Western Gray
Marmoset, Geoffroy’s
Monkey, Central American Spider
Monkey, Mexican Spider
Monkey, Robust Black Spider
Peccary, Chacoan
Pheasant, Vietnam
Tree Kangaroo, Matschie’s


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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