Animal Programs Monthly Update

September 2021

AZA Animal Programs Tip-of-the-Month

If there are any Officer or Advisor updates to be made on your Animal Program page of the AZA Animal Programs Database, you can email the AZA Conservation, Management, & Welfare Sciences Department to make those changes for you!

ZIMS for Studbooks Tip-of-the-Month

Many ZIMS for Studbooks reference guides are available on the AZA website. Be sure to read through these, especially if you are a new Studbook Keeper!

2021 Virtual Annual Conference

Important conversations and presentations are taking place at the 2021 Virtual AZA Annual Conference! More information and to register, visit the AZA website.

  • Animal Program Leaders Meeting - Wednesday, September 8 from 12-1pm EDT
  • APM Committee - Updates and Discussion regarding the Reimagination of Animal Programs – Monday, September 20 from 2:30-3:30pm EDT
  • Ambassador Animals and AZA Animal Programs: Partnerships for Sustainable Populations – Monday, September 20, 4-4:45pm EDT
  • Ambassador Animal Tough Conversations – Friday, September 24 from 2:30-3:30pm EDT

Institutional Data Management Advisory Group Now Recruiting

AZA’s Institutional Data Management Scientific Advisory Group (IDMAG), is here to help with any data management and record standard needs.  If your SAG, TAG, facility, or any other group needs guidance or assistance with these matters or has questions pertaining to these subjects, please reach out to Debbie Johnson.

IDMAG is also currently seeking recruitment for new members at any level within the organization. While at this time IDMAG is comprised of data management and records standard experts, IDMAG is recruiting for those who are newer to the zoo/aquarium profession but have a strong interest in these subjects.  If you are interested in joining or have questions about IDMAG, please email Debbie Johnson.

Animal Program Articles

The August population sustainability issue of Connect is now available! Be sure to read the four feature articles and a new SSP Highlight:

  • Improving Supply Chains for Aquatic Collections
  • An Investment in the Greater Good
  • PMCTrack at Ten
  • Collaborating for Population Sustainability
  • Blue-throated Macaw SSP: Preserving Parrots

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.


In coordination with the AZA Asian Hornbill SAFE, the Woodland Park Zoo is committed to continuing efforts to collect nest adoption contributions to the hornbill nest adoption program run by the Thailand Hornbill Project/Hornbill Research Foundation (THP/HRF). The THP/HRF is an outstanding community-based conservation program, with all funds going directly towards engaging and employing rural Thai communities to become stewards and guardians of their environment, protecting hornbill from poaching and deforestation and active monitoring of multiple hornbill species:  Greats, Rhinos, Wrinkled, Helmeted, Wreathed, Oriental pied, etc. For only $150 per adoption, it is affordable and extremely rewarding to support such a well-run and impactful conservation program that has many positive impacts on wild hornbill populations and local communities in Thailand.

If your zoo is interested in participating in efforts to support the THP/HRF nest adoption program, and would like to contribute through Woodland Park Zoo's account, please feel free to contact Mark Myers or Bobbi Miller.  For more details: 

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

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

AZA Meeting Weeks

As we did with the previous virtual conferences, AZA will again be hosting AZA Committees, SAGs, Animal Programs, and SAFE Species open meetings prior to the 2021 Virtual Annual Conference. These "Meeting Weeks" provide the opportunity for these groups to hold open meetings for the AZA community to attend. Join us September 7-10 for Animal Program (TAG and SSP) and SAFE Species meetings, and September 13-16 for Committee and SAG meetings. 

Meeting Weeks access is included with a Full Annual Conference registration. A $25 Meeting Weeks registration fee will be required to access all meetings for Daily Annual Conference registrants and those who are not registered for the Full Annual Conference. The $25 registration fee applies to AZA individual members and non-members.

Reach out to Cheryl Andrews, AZA Director of Conferences, with any questions.

AZA 2021 Virtual Annual Conference

The AZA 2021 Virtual Annual Conference is September 20-24. Join us for five days of online and interactive offerings, including peer-led learning, guest speakers, connections with colleagues, and product and service providers. Or, spread out the learning and access on-demand recordings the week after for up to 90 days. The Virtual Annual Conference brings together the zoo and aquarium community for continued learning and connections. Registration is now open.

“From Good Care to Great Welfare" Workshop

The Detroit Zoological Society's Center for Zoo and Aquarium Animal Welfare and Ethics is offering an immersive five-day workshop October 4-8. The workshop is designed to help participants better understand animals' perspectives and experiences, address the challenges imposed on animal welfare, and develop the skills necessary to assess and improve overall well-being.  The workshop is comprised of lectures, discussions, group projects, and hands-on exercises at the Detroit Zoo. If public health reasons necessitate cancellation of the in-person workshop, a virtual workshop will be offered as an optional alternative.

This course is designed for animal care professionals employed by accredited organizations that promote excellent animal welfare, such as those accredited by the AZA, other regional zoo and aquarium accrediting bodies, and the Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries. 

For more information and to apply, please visit the CZAW website or email CZAW

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.

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

Scientific Advisory Group Chair

Jac Menish, Nashville Zoo, Inc.

Krista Adelhart, Woodland Park Zoo

SSP Coordinator and Studbook Keeper

Sarah Hoback, Newport Aquarium

Ryan Dumas, Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden

SSP Coordinator

Molly Shea, Fossil Rim Wildlife Center

Studbook Keeper

Devon Sabo, Columbus Zoo and Aquarium

Candidate Program Leader

Kevin Becker, Adventure Aquarium

New Program Leader Vacancies

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

TAG Chair

Please send application materials to the AZA Conservation, Management, & Welfare Sciences Department.

SSP Coordinator and Studbook Keeper

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

Please send application materials to Martin Ramirez, Hippo, Peccary, Pig, and Tapir TAG Chair.

Please send application materials to Dominick Dorsa, Parrot 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.


Cat, Sand
Deer, Pere David’s
Duiker, Yellow-backed
Koala, Queensland
Lemur, Black and White Ruffed
Lizard, Caiman
Monkey, Patas
Parrot, Thick-billed
Seal, Harbor
Shark, Sand Tiger
Stork, Saddle-billed
Tamarin, Golden Lion

Breeding & Transfer Plans

Deer, Western Tufted
Frog, Dusky Gopher
Gecko, Giant Leaf-tailed
Macaque, Japanese
Otter, Asian Small-clawed
Partridge, Crested Wood
Rattlesnake, Eastern Massasauga

Animal Care Manuals

Jellyfish – second edition


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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